Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review: The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig

Title: The Ashford Affair
Author: Lauren Willig
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: April 9, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like armchair traveler.
What's the Story?:

From "As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards—but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement and, suddenly single at thirty-four, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s ninety-ninth birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything. . . .

What follows is a potent story that spans generations and continents, bringing an Out of Africa feel to a Downton Abbey cast of unforgettable characters. From the inner circles of WWI-era British society to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the red-dirt hills of Kenya, the never-told secrets of a woman and a family unfurl."

My Two Cents:

"The Ashford Affair" is a book full of family secrets. It follows two women, Clemmie, who lives in late 1990s New York City and Addie, a young woman in the early 1900s running away from her life in England to carve out a new life in Kenya with her beloved cousin's family. This is the story of a woman figuring out her past and another building her future.

Lauren Willig is also the author of the Pink Carnation series, of which I've read a few. Although this book marks a departure from Willig's world of flowery named spies, there are a lot of great elements present in this book that were present in the Pink Carnation series. The characters in this book are really memorable and interesting. The story itself is engaging. Willig even gives us a chance to do a little armchair traveling in NYC, England, and Kenya. Addie's cousin, Bea, lives on a coffee farm in Kenya (sounds awesome to me)!

After her beloved grandmother passes away, Clemmie finds out that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to her family. The book follows her as her life is crashing down as she is trying to find out the true story of her family. I really liked following her as she unravels the mystery. Clemmie was a great character. She's smart but still very vulnerable.

While I liked Clemmie's character, I really liked Addie's story. I wanted to know a little bit more about why she did what she did after the huge twist in the story (no spoilers). If I were in her position, I might have run the other way! I think the fact that she does the unexpected made Addie really interesting to read about!

Overall, this was a good story! I know that I'm going to be thinking about these characters for a long time!



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