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The Ashford Affair: A Novel Paperback – March 25, 2014
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Willig veers away from her Pink Carnation Regency spy series in this stand-alone offering, which follows Clementine Evans, an ambitious young lawyer who decides to dig into her family’s history after discovering she bears more than a passing resemblance to a cousin of her grandmother’s who she’s never heard of. Clemmie’s grandmother, Addie, and the cousin, Bea, grew up together in England in the early twentieth century after Addie’s parents died and Bea’s family took Addie in. Addie grew up in the glamorous Bea’s shadow, eventually losing Frederick, the man she loved, to Bea. In the present, Clemmie tries to reconcile this new information with what she knows about Addie’s long and happy marriage to Frederick. Clemmie feels especially betrayed by Jon, the handsome stepson of her mother’s sister, who clearly knows more than he’s letting on. Though it lacks the swashbuckling charm of her long-running series, Willig’s new outing takes readers from WWI-era London to Kenya of the 1920s to New York in the 1990s, offering plenty of twists and intrigue to keep them entertained. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The Ashford Affair is a reader's treat, an artfully-woven saga that sweeps us into the lives of three generations of a family entangled in life-changing secrets. Lauren Willig spins a web of lust, power and loss, taking us from England to Kenya to New York, from World War I to today's modern world, posing a timeless question: what in our own family stories might surprise or shock – or change our lives – if we had access to the whispers from the past?” ―Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker
“There are few authors who make you want to take a day off from life to devour their latest book, but Lauren Willig is one of them. The Ashford Affair is absolutely impossible to put down!” ―Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Madame Tussaud
“Rich with detail and historical imagination, The Ashford Affair evokes the lives and passions of the interwar era with harrowing precision. The enthralling mystery kept me up late into the night, and the characters will remain with me forever. Lauren Willig has delivered a stunning masterpiece.” ―Beatriz Williams, author of Overseas
“With The Ashford Affair, Lauren Willig crafts a lavishly detailed saga readers will devour.” ―Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Enquiry
Top customer reviews
Clementine "Clemmie" Evans (whose nickname grated on me throughout the book) is a Manhattan lawyer who lives for her job and not much else, until the illness and death of her beloved grandmother Addie leads her to dig up a long-buried cache of family secrets that will change the way she thinks of her family and ultimately herself. The story takes the reader across three continents and spans a variety of eras from the early 1900s to the early 2000s. There is plenty of upper-crust British scandal in glamorous settings, from debutante balls to Jazz Age nightclubs to colonial Kenya, and the author even throws in a bit of murder mystery. On a random note, New York biglaw associates will enjoy the author's thinly veiled digs at a particular well-known law firm, in the unlikely event they ever have enough free time to finish a book (the location of Clementine's apartment and her fictional firm's initials will give it away).
The book does have its weak points: some of the prose was a little cringe-worthy, particularly the flirtatious banter between Clemmie and her ex-step-cousin (whose relationship seems to be lifted straight out of Clueless), and some of the characters could have been developed more, like Addie's and Clementine's respective love interests. The time-jumping element may be disconcerting as well, since the book switches over from one character's narrative to another's just as the reader is getting engrossed in the first narrative. However, people who read a lot of historical fiction might not notice or mind it, since it now seems to be a very common element in the genre.
Overall, despite the book's flaws, I would recommend it for fans of historical fiction or anyone looking for a light read. Enjoy!
I know she researched, and carefully crafted this book. I know she is talented.
But in the end. This one was a boring book till the end. From the binning till the end, I felt a constant jumping and rushing and I never really felt that I was part of the story. There were peak moments. But it felt rushed. And then so much information was thrown at the reader but all the sudden we are at a dramatic point and it has to be aligned differently.
I can see what she was trying to do. Keep us guessing, make us wonder and also follow and enjoy the story.
But half way through she lost me. Her style is this jumping back and forth. Her skill is while she is jumping in history and time, she can really create both worlds so well that you are part of either one. And love both of them.
But this one was full of exploding moments and never a floating story so to speak. Several open ends were there and then finally, the end.. I wanted more explanations, answers. But also understood why she ended it as she did. And I can't say I dislike it. It was well done. I wished I had been given the information how Bea had done it. But also understand that she left that out because it wasn't written down anywhere. She put a modern ending to the book and tried to touch all open ends a little bit. I honestly found it boring and interesting. There were many good ideas she used. But for me some didn't line up and some were just too much.
All in all a nice book. But not an exciting read.
When a woman lawyer finds herself not fitting into the life of a Manhattan lawyer, as she had aspired to succeed in. After her many hours of hard work, giving up her life, being engaged, family and friends, slaving over briefs and any other document or problems her bosses throw at her since she graduated from law school, expecting to make partnership in her firm, to make her dream job come true. She finds herself at loose ends and trying to see where she fits in and what to do or where to go next or even whom she should go to.
This story unfolds after her beloved grandmother dies and her mother and aunt tell of some intrigue of their family history. This sets her on a mission to delve into the past century and find out all she can to bring her and her family's past into her present with some remarkable tales.
Thank you for a wonderful read. Yes I have and will again recommend this book to others.
The untold century of old secrets lead her to two different continents as the saga unfolds and her family history evolves.