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Nell and Lady: A Novel

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,709 ratings  ·  260 reviews
A heart-stirring novel of family and forgiveness from bestselling author Ashley Farley.

In her grand home in Charleston, Willa Bellemore raised two girls during the tumultuous 1970s. One was her daughter, Lady. The other was Lady’s best friend, Nell—adopted after the sudden, heartbreaking death of her mother, the Bellemores’ beloved maid. Willa showered Nell with love and s
Published September 18th 2018 by Brilliance Audio
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,709 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
3.5 stars (rounded up) for Nell and Lady - a touching story of family, loss and forgiveness.

Set against the backdrop of prejudice in the deep south Nell and Lady tells the story of a friendship that defies race and social class. Mavis is a young Black woman who finds herself pregnant and working for Willa Bellemore who is also expecting a child. The two become best friends and raise their daughters, Nell and Lady, together in the Bellemore home until tragedy strikes. Mavis unexpectedly suffers
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Lady wasn’t dredging up anything. She lived in the past every single day. She was a character in a movie with a worn-out theme— waking up every morning to repeat the same traumatic day over and over again.

For your information, Betty, my help is my family, not that it’s any of your business. As for my social status, I have more friends in this town than you have weeds in your garden. And, honey, I’m here to tell you that you have a whole shit pot of weeds growing in your garden.

leslie hamod
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thankyou to Ashley Farley for this gift.
An intensely engaging story invoking two young girls, sisters but not by blood. One is black, Bell and the other white, Lady. As close as two people can be. They grow together and share everything, every secret and an intense attachment.
Although race drives them apart, it is only a mitigating factor. There is a terrible secret. An incident which eventually destroys this loving home. A secret which is never revealed before Nell cuts off her family.
Yet this
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Southern fiction, especially historical fiction is one of my favourite genres. I have never read any work by this author before but Ashley Farley now has a new fan. Her ability to pull you into the moment by describing surroundings and using the senses made me feel like I was in Charleston.

If she’d gotten help back then, she would’ve lived a more fulfilled life, would’ve felt like a whole person instead of this broken resemblance of one.
This book makes you think. I love that. All these wom
Christine Nolfi
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking and heartfelt, Nell and Lady weaves a story of family secrets set against the backdrop of prejudice in the Deep South. You’ll root for Nell and Lady as they overcome their differences and rediscover their bond as sisters. A triumph!

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for providing an advanced copy.
Patricia Sands
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stirring advance read. Ashley Farley takes readers into the home of a privileged white family in Charleston, South Carolina, through three generations. She delivers a touching message about family, friendship and forgiveness woven through issues of race, secrecy, and changing values. Farley's depictions are so authentic I could taste the cheese biscuits and sweet tea!
Nell and Lady is a beautifully written story of friendship, loss, family and hope. The story is set in Charleston in the 70's, 80's and present day. Mavis is a young black woman who finds a job as a live in maid to the Bellemore family. She finds herself pregnant and Willa Bellemore agrees to let Mavis keep her job and raise her daughter, Nell, alongside Willa's daughter, Lady. Nell and Lady grow up together and are best friends. When Mavis unexpectantly dies, Willa adopts Nell as her own. After ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm..! I should have loved this book, but I just didn’t. The underlying premise was very good. It was the execution that left me flat. The characters were too story bookish (not real) and many of the conversations, almost cheesy, made me shake my head. The book had a lite and fluffy feel when some very serious issues were presented.
In fairness, this book has received many stellar reviews, and I did like the story, I just did not like the tone.
Susan Peterson
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with complex characters and long-held secrets, Nell and Lady is an emotionally stirring book about families and forgiveness. I loved that the story was told from multiple points of view, so that we could really get into the minds of all of these characters, adding wonderful layers to the story. Ashley Farley has once again melded characters and story into a book that I couldn’t put down.
Kate Vocke
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A traumatic secret tore them apart. Their mother's dying wish will bring them together again."

I was already hooked just from reading that line on the back cover! Really excited to have been picked by BookSharks for a Book Happy Hour pop up blog tour - Nell & Lady is so sweet, with a touch of mystery, and whole lot of heart. I loved every minute of it, and applauded some tough subjects throughout that were handled so smart and creatively. From race, to privilege, to sexual assault, there's n

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 shining stars! NELL AND LADY by Ashley Farley has just been released this month!! If you have read and enjoyed any of Ashley Farley's books, RUN (don't walk) TO THE NEAREST BOOK STORE AND BUY THIS BOOK! It is my FAVOURITE NOVEL by her to date! Every book she writes is better that the one before and I LOVED the FIRST NOVEL SHE WROTE!!!
Nell and Lady grew up together in the same house and were best friends until Lady's sixteenth birthday party. They became estranged and avoided each other un
Well, my opinion sure doesn't match all the glowing reports I've seen here but too bad, I thought this story was just okay. This is the first book of Ashley Farley's that I've read and it'll likely be the last. I didn't find the characters realistic to start with. I couldn't warm up to any of them.

Secondly, I had to go to the front to see when this was written and I wasn't surprised to see that it was written this year (2018). It felt to me as though she's taking advantage of the big #metoo wome
Chronicles of a Bookish Mom
Ashley Farley has outdone herself with Nell and Lady. This story about family will break your heart, make you cry and heal you back again. Nell and Lady are characters that are so unbelievably relatable that it’s almost as though your learning the inside story to your best friends family life. Willa is the grandmother every girl needs and in the end a mother any daughter could brag about. Here’s to Ashley Farley for a story that will warm my heart for weeks to come.
Nicole Swinson
This is a heart felt story that starts in 1970’s and takes us to present day. The story touches on emotional topics such as cancer, sexual abuse, racism and alcoholism. Set in Charleston, SC. Willa Bellemore befriends her new maid Mavis, they become more than friends they become family. Mavis finds her self pregnant and is afraid she may be let go. That does not happen, Willa and Mavis raise their girls to be just as close as they are; when Mavis passes away Willa adopts Nell.
Nell and Lady were
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishers for the honor of reading this book.

This was a very heartfelt book. It touched on subjects that are full of pain and missunderstandings. Family is more than just blood. It’s more than just race. It’s that deep down feeling of love. Love that can at times be so painful too. From the racial points to the sexual assault Lady and Nell have so much to get over. Two girls who were best friends from birth until the age of 16. Can they find their way back?
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A warm and inviting look into the lives of two young girls brought together through circumstances, that they had no control over yet growing up they went separate ways.
Life always has a way of bring up the past and in this heart warming story we see how Nell and lady cope with just that .
My first time reading this author and I can highly recommend I will be reading her other books iam delighted to have had an early copy from net galley in exchange for a honest review
☕ Kimberly
Wonderful. Ashley Farley just keeps raising the bar.
Bambi Rathman
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Ashley Farley's books and Nell and Lady is no exception. I want to thank Ms. Farley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity and honor of reading an ARC of this amazing book.
The story is of the bonds of friendship between two mothers and their two daughters. The girls, Nell and Lady, promise to always be life long best friends,' "Together, forever. Let nothing or no one ever come between us." They sealed the pact with their secret handshake-fingers clasped together, thumbs and
Cheryl Fockler
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ashley Farley has brought us yet another collection of well developed characters in this tale of unlikely sisters in the South. Nell and Lady came back together after years of separation and had to deal with the issues that tore them apart. Farley has a keen ability to make the reader feel empathy for, and cheer on, the characters in her novels. Another winner for sure, a must read for lovers of Southern literature.
Bethany Clark
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me first mention this cover, I love everything that this cover stands for - from it's simple times, friendships, and the fact that color doesn't exist.

This book takes place in a city that I'm obsessed with, Charleston, SC in the 1970's. Nell's mother Mavis is a maid in the home of Willa and Lady Bellemore. But to be honest, she's more of a best friend then worker. She and Willa just clicked from day 1. Then one day May May gets pregnant and hopes that Willa won't kick her out of her home. I
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fiction
Ashley Farley has once again written a wonderful story with characters who will resonate with her readers. It's a dual time line book that takes place in the 70s and current day in Charleston, SC about three generations of woman and their love for each other.

1970 in Charleston and May is the housekeeper for the Bellemore family - Willa, her husband and their daughter Lady. The housekeeper's daughter, Nell, lives in an apartment in the house with her mom. Lady and Nell are exactly the same age an
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I have read by Ashley Farley. After reading a few chapters, I started to follow her on Facebook. That is not the customary action for me. I just knew after reading a bit that I truly loved her writing style and had faith that she would bring the story to an end that I would cherish, and she did!

Ashley Farley has wonderful character development, that when I completed the book, I was missing the people I had come to know. The plot is very well planned, flows smoothly and w
Lone Tree Reviews
Nell And Lady is the one story you need to read this September!! This story will have you glued to the book until that last word is read and even then, I'm still thinking about this book! On one side you have Willa and Lady who are white and rich and the other, Mavis and Nell being the black hired help living in one house. You would think that would be recipe for disaster but in this book, it just works for what the story is saying.

First you have Nell losing her mother which will make you cry,
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ashley Farley has become one of me new favourite writers in the last year of woman’s fiction. Her new book is an amazing read of family, friendship, and secrets that have torn apart a family and when tragedy strikes, two women, can come together to give a dying mother her last wish and to begin again to build a family.

Two girls, Nell and Lady were raised by Willa Bellemore in the 1970’s, after adopting Nell when her mother, who was Willa’s best friend and housekeeper/Nanny to her daughter Lady
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Farley brought to life the characters within this story. Which is a great thing as this book is very character driven. Without the characters, you would have ending up with an "alright" story. The main focal characters are Willa, Nell, and Adelaide aka Lady. Each woman had a story to tell and I wanted to sit and listen to their stories. Yet, I will say that I instantly warmed up to Willa. Lady and Nell equally, I liked them but did take a bit longer to warm up to them both. In the beginning, ...more
Carla Suto
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NELL AND LADY by Ashley Farley is a captivating and moving story of family, friendship, loss and forgiveness. Set in Charleston, SC, It touches on issues of race, class and societal expectations in a heartfelt and engaging way. Told from multiple perspectives, alternating between past and present, the story of Willa, Nell and Lady unfolds gradually, revealing the strength of their unlikely relationships and the power of love to overcome even the most difficult challenges. Years of dark secrets a ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nell and Lady is one amazing book! The bond that Nell and Lady has in this book was one of a kind! They grew apart but never was to far away. I read about so many life lessons that were important and just life through the eyes of Nell and Lady. loved how the book unfolded through all the years of Nell and Lady’s lives to the ending which I must say alot of love, peace, and happiness was felt. I loved how a beat or corner was never missed throughout the book. It felt sooo real that you felt part ...more
abdulia ortiz-perez
I got this book from Book Sparks for a honest review.

Nell and Lady is a beautiful story about friendship, family and the consequences of the choices that we make. The girls were best friends, became sisters and then during a party, one started down the road to alcoholism and the other experienced an assault that would take her away from her family. Both girls married, each had a child and many years later would find themselves face-to-face dealing with situations that would force them to face th
Kate Rock
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I read it in two sittings and I didn't want it to end. Ashley Farley is a wonderful storyteller and her characters become your friends. Family, friendship and forgiveness and an amazing story set in the 1970's will have you laughing, crying and wondering what you would do in some emotional, relatable and real situations. The author has a great way of taking sensitive subjects and showing it from different perspectives.
It's a beautiful book and I will read everything this autho
First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. However, the emotions weren't powerful enough for me. It was more of a gentle read covering difficult subjects such as racism, sexual assault, domestic abuse, and etc. This story focuses on 3 generations of family from the 60's to now. This story consists of friendships, families, betrayal, jealousy, unforgiveness, redemption, loss, and everything. I'm giving this 3 3/4 stars because it was short for me and not as memorable as I'd like it to ...more
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Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you've read the last word, then she's done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of re