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The Ashford Affair

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  3,776 ratings  ·  680 reviews
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 t
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Hardcover, 358 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2013)
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Community Reviews

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Sarah
I'm so glad the days of the sweeping generational saga are back. Downton Abbey and Kate Morton both deserve credit for this, imho, and I couldn't be more pleased; my personal reading tastes have become fashionable at last!

The Ashford Affair is a departure for Lauren Willig in some ways but not in others. While leaving Napoleonic spies behind, she incorporates the same smart dialogue and multiple-time format in her newest book, which follows the lives of two women over 70 years apart who are link
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Susanna Kearsley
Full disclosure here, because Lauren is a friend of mine and I love her writing and her books, but I honestly think she outdid herself in The Ashford Affair. Highly recommended.
Emily Crowe
Sadly, this wasn't the book for me. It was just good enough to finish reading at night when I was tired from work but not ready to go to bed. Admittedly, I had high hopes when it was described as Out of Africa meets Downton Abbey, and really, it reminded me of neither.

The story weaves back & forth between Addie in the 1920s in England and Kenya (though precious little of Kenya), who is a cast-off cousin of a wealthy aristocratic family, and Clementine (called Clemmie, which is a name that g
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Quite morose in tone, however I was drawn into this family drama of a novel that travels smoothly between the early 20th century and the last decade of that same century. Very emotionally involving, although certain characters were hard to feel sympathy for. Recommended to readers who are interested in the WW1 years and the 1920s.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine in the April issue. http://affairedecoeur.com
Andrea Seaver
Really, there should be a half star selection here, as I would have rated it 2.5, simply for Ms Willig's writing style. I picked this up from the library, where I had been on the waiting list for the release, so that should tell you that I anticipated this novel, it wasn't a spur of the moment selection.
I have ready and enjoyed the Pink Carnation series, for the lighthearted but entertaining novels they are. I was hoping for a deeper, and possibly darker, tale in The Ashford Affair. I was truthf
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Tandie
I receiced a free ARC through Goodreads and St. Martin's Press. Thanks!

I've never read anything by Lauren Willig, so I wasn't sure what to expect. By chapter two, I had at least decided that her writing style is excellent. By chapter three, I was fully engaged in both stories & couldn't wait to see how they tied together. My favorite part was the early 1900's story with Bea and Addie. Bea was such a spoiled princess. Right away I knew that I was rooting for Addie. This novel was obviously we
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
Interesting story, well-written, but I didn't end the book with much like nor attachment for any of the main characters.

This book spans roughly the early 1900s through the mid 1920s in England and Kenya, and runs parallel to 1999 London and New York.

In 1906, six year old Addie's parents died. Her father was the son of an Earl, and her mother a writer of novels, which rendered them persona-non-grata in their circles. Addie is then brought to live, as a poor relation, with her uncle's family, at t
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Ionia
The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig would be a perfect book club selection. The complex plot and story told in this novel would give people hours of topics worth discussing.

This narrative was intriguing and at times a little heart-wrenching. The author has done an exemplary job of bringing her characters from the pages into flesh and blood for her readers. I was impressed by the depth of the people in this book and the way their story produced emotion in me. I love it when you read a book and y
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Viviane Crystal
Addie Gillicote’s life has evolved into a series of dramatic changes, some of which fall upon her and some of which she inadvertently causes. Her granddaughter, Clementine (Clemmie), seems to be following the same journey. It all begins with the sudden, accidental death of Addie’s parents when she is sent to live with her cousin, Bea’s family. Addie is really unwanted, the daughter of “bohemian” parents who really doesn’t fit into the aristocratic family she is now expected to call her own. WWI ...more
Hoover Public Library Adult Fiction
Drawing comparisons to Downton Abbey and Out of Africa, The Ashford Affair is a magnificent tale of how one dramatic secret shaped a family for generations. It centers on Clementine, the youngest grandchild in a sprawling family, now a grown-up lawyer in a powerful Manhattan firm, and Addie, the ailing matriarch whom Clem adores and equates with a sense of home and belonging. The novel deftly maneuvers between present day New York City, pre- and post- WWI London, and Kenya in the 1920’s, as Clem ...more
Ashley Arthur
I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway listed by Sarah Goldstein of St. Martin’s Press. I could not have been more excited. I am a big fan of Lauren Willig’s “Pink Carnation” series, and I have been looking forward to seeing how Lauren would write on a topic that wasn’t Napoleonic spies.

I was hugely impressed. Lauren’s story spans about a hundred years of one family’s history, with settings in post-WWI England, 1920s Kenya, and modern day NYC. The modern-day heroine, Clementine Evan
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Shelley Fearn
I would have liked to give this more than 3 stars but I won't. I liked the novel mainly because I liked the time in which it was partly set, the decade following World War I. I also thank the author for not writing a predictable plot line. The love stories, while intertwined, were written with some thought. I appreciate that. However, while entertaining, the novel lacked the character development found in books by authors like Kate Morton. The Ashord Affair is a diversion and an enjoyable one bu ...more
Holly
May 09, 2013 Holly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I loved this book! A family saga that I just wanted to devour. I thought Lauren Willig did such a great job weaving together the story that went from 1920's England, to Kenya, to 2000's New York. I got so wrapped up in these characters lives that I hated being interrupted. Through all the family secrets and lies, it was a family that was loved and ended up where they needed to be. Sometimes a family isn't always as simple as black and white. And sometimes going left rather than right all the tim ...more
Barb
I haven't read any of Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series, but I thought I would give this stand alone a try.

Sometimes shifting back and forth between time periods is a wonderful way to tell a story if it's done well. When it's not it can be counterproductive to the pacing of the story and instead of pulling the reader in, it can turn the reader off. Which was my experience with this book. There are three different time periods in the first 42 pages of the story. Getting to care about a charac
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Christina
In a departure from her Napoleonic spy romances of the Pink Carnation Series, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig ventures into new territory with The Ashford Affair. Entwining one generation’s story with that of another, from post-Edwardian British society to modern day Manhattan to a coffee farm in Kenya, the long veiled secrets of a woman are unraveled.

Clementine Evans, a focused, driven law associate on the cusp of making partner in a large Manhattan firm, attends her beloved gra
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Susan Gorman
Ashford Affair is a story about family and secrets. The novel spans a one hundred years time period and the reader is treated to a glimpse of pre-World War I British aristocracy, the inner workings of a coffee plantation in Kenya and corporate politics in a New York law office.

Lauren Willig crafts a wonderful story about the relationship of two cousins in the early 1900's when British Aristocracy was at it's height. The end of World War I brought many social and economic changes to Great Britian
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Connie
The Ashford Affair, by Lauren Willig. There seems to be a trend in recently published books to have a dual track to the plot. In this story one track begins in London in 1906 when a recently orphaned girl, Addie, is taken in by her father’s elitist family. Thank goodness her cousin, Bea, takes Addie under her wing and helps her. But even that is not all good, as Addie is always the underdog to Bea. It follows Addie’s life until she reaches age 99, but the story line is interrupted by the life of ...more
Joyce
Fans of Willig's glorious Pink Carnation series should not start this thinking they'll find that kind of book. It's not. Rather than a swashbuckling tale of romance and intrigue, it's a more measured but equally intriguing story of a complex family puzzle. When Clementine's adored Grandma Addie calls her by an unfamiliar name, Clemmie begins investigating her family's history. There are multiple story lines in multiple, converging time period-Willig handles this really well with fascinating deta ...more
Sandy
I wanted more from this book. I wanted there to be more Kenya, more history and more resolution with Bea. The backdrop was superfluous to the story and I wish it had more bearing as it was a fascinating period of history.

I wish this had been written as a generational saga with a linear timeline instead of the back and forth between modern and historical stories. This method of story-telling robbed the narrative of some of the suspense and history. Certain events HAD to happen because otherwise C
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Tara Chevrestt
I liked some of this and didn't like some of this.


I appreciated the historical setting: Kenya, the look into the flapper lifestyle, the parties, the difference between classes. That kind of drama is always intriguing. I liked the modern-day heroine and the conflicts she faced. It was realistic and I could relate to her...

I could relate to her much more than I could related to the historical heroines. We have two cousins playing tug of war with a man, a man so not worth it in my opinion. Bea is a
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Cara
The Ashford Affair is the latest book by bestselling author Lauren Willig.

The story takes place in the past and present, from the 1906-1999. It spans England, Kenya and New York City, telling the story of Adeline and Clementine. Addie is Clementines' grandmother, who was born in England.

Addie, faced with the death of her parents in London in 1906, is taken in by her much wealthier aunt and uncle. They transport her to Ashford, a sprawling county estate to live with them and her cousins Diana (Do
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TAMMY CUEVAS
Even the best of families harbor secrets. When Clementine attends her grandmother Addie's ninety-ninth birthday, she gets a hint of a long-buried family secret, and she won't rest until she unravels the mystery.

Addie's story begins when, at a young age, she is taken to Ashford Park to be raised by her uncle and his wife. She never feels as though she completely belongs, but her close relationship with her cousin Bea sustains her. As an adult, Bea commits an act that will test their relationship
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Jill Lapin Zell
Simply put, this novel is masterfully written. I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway, and being unfamiliar with Lauren Willig’s “Pink Carnation” series, I was nonetheless intrigued by the synopsis, and I was not disappointed.

The book has been described in several other reviews I read as a combination between “Out of Africa” and “Downton Abbey”. I suppose it has earned that descriptor based on settings alone, but on nothing more.

This is one of those stories to get lost in. The most outstanding
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Jenifer (JensCorner)
Lauren Willig has done it again! Once more, she has mixed wonderful characters with an intriguing plot. The end result is a story that keeps you coming back for more.

Clemmie has wonderful and loving memories of her Granny Addie. But her death brings news Clemmie wasn't prepared for. Suddenly, all isn't what it appeared to be. She now must find the answers she needs.

While Clemmie sorts out her life and the news that changes it, the story of Addie is played out for you. The young girl sent to liv
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Mskychick
I won this book as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I was very surprised when I started reading it. I hadn't paid attention to the early reviews for it, I just new I wanted to read it because it's a Lauren Willig book. I was expecting something comedic and Victorian, like her Pink Carnation books (which I love). This book was nothing at all like the others by her, but I loved it just the same! I have to say, after I read Ashford Affair, I read a blurb that said this book is like Downtown Abbey ...more
Jennifer
The Ashford Affair was an EXCELLENT book! I was thoroughly entranced by it from beginning to end.

When I first started reading it I loved reading how we started with Addie traveling to Africa and the things she went through on her journey, as well as how she felt when she first saw the landscape for the first time. Then our curiosity is aroused when we read her reaction to her cousins husband, I wondered after having read of how Bea looked and acted if she had somehow stolen Frederick from Addie
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Diane

I won this through a Goodreads Giveaway. I have never read on of Lauren Willing books before but found this book to be well written and kept my interest.

The story takes you from WW 1, onto a coffee plantain in Kenya and to life today following the foot steps of one family. We meet Clementine who is an associate lawyer in a big law firm. She thinks she has everything she wants but has put her life and her family on hold. That is till the night of her beloved grandmother's 99th birthday. This is w
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Jenifer
Having enjoyed Willig's first novel, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, so when I was asked to review her newest release, I said yes. This stand alone novel is very different from the Pink Carnation. The Ashford Affair takes itself much more seriously than the Pink Carnation, leaning more towards the literary fiction rather than Willig's usual romance.

The publisher's blurb connects this novel to Out of Africa and Downton Abbey. I have to say that I found the similarities between Downton A
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Jacqie
I loved the story, but didn't particularly care for either of the two main characters. Four and a half stars really, because of that, but I don't want to tank the book's rating.

Clemmie's a high-powered lawyer, naturally tall, blond and beautiful, who has given up her entire life to get ahead in her career. At the age of 34 she's still pining over the boy she liked in college and hasn't gotten over the fact that he didn't call her the day after.

Addie is the poor relation of an extremely high-powe
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Christy
4 stars, mainly because it should have been longer

I found this to be a compulsively readable book that kept me up way too late at night and kept my planter from being weeded the next day. The prologue sucked me in and got me wrapped up in the story, and I think I can safely say that if it doesn't grab you, you probably won't like this book. Lauren Willig's prose flows very smoothly and she spins a fascinating yarn in this book, set in present day America and early 20th century England and Africa
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Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen works of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association's annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in English History at Harvard befor ...more
More about Lauren Willig...
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation, #1) The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation, #2) The Deception of the Emerald Ring (Pink Carnation, #3) The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation, #4) The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation, #5)

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“He admired her for throwing off her aristocratic shackles -- his terms, that -- and making her own way in the world.

He didn't realize that the truth was so much more complex, so much less impressive. She had less thrown than been thrown.”
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“Her mother would be appalled, but she wouldn't say anything. She would just telegraph her distress with tightened lips and raised brows. She was good at that. Clemmie's mother's brows were better than sign language, complicated concepts conveyed with the minimum of movement.” 1 likes
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