27 April 2014

The Ashford Affair

Summary from Goodreads:
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig "spins a web of lust, power and loss" (Kate Alcott) that is by turns epic and intimate, transporting and page-turning

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.

I am a huge fan of Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series and was really excited to read her first stand-alone, non-Pink novel.  But about half-way through the first chapter I put it down.  I wasn't enthused by the characters for some reason.  However, it has been staring at me from the corner of my dresser since then so I picked it back up for Readathon.

I was immediately sucked into Clemmie's family and the mystery surrounding her Grandma Addie.  Such a rich world created in post-World War I Britain and Kenya and end-of-the-20th century New York City.  Granted, I did guess the Big Family Secret but that is only half of the plot.  Pink fans should be on the lookout for a Vaughn descendant that slipped into the Kenya storyline.  Definitely a novel to recommend for fans of Downton Abbey.

Dear FTC: I purchased my copy of this book.

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