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Readers' Comments for The Ashford Affair

In March, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight contests won copies of THE ASHFORD AFFAIR by Lauren Willig. It’s about Clementine Evans, a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, who 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 she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s 99th birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this lyrically-written, charming novel.

I was thrilled to find my copy of THE ASHFORD AFFAIR by Lauren Willig in my mailbox. This book was a departure from her Pink Carnation series; however, her standard shifting between time periods remains. The novel was a wonderful sweeping generational family saga taking readers from 1900s London, to 1920s Kenya, and finally to the turn of the 21st century in New York. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved the characters and their struggles and triumphs. It was a book I greatly enjoyed and would love to see Lauren Willig write more stand-alone novels as well as the Pink series. 

I'm so glad I won this book. I received the book a week ago and finished reading it several days later. I liked how the book was structured. It began at the turn of the century and then wove the story by bouncing between the early 1900s and then back to 1999/2000s. I liked the characters and how the author revealed only a little at a time about each of them.  I like the setting of Kenya and visually these people living lives on three different continents. I really liked Addie and meeting her as on old lady with all her secrets and adventures. It was an enjoyable read. I have already passed the book along to a friend and encouraged her to share it with her mother since I think they both will enjoy it as well.

In 1906, after the death of her parents, six-year-old Addie is taken to live at Ashford Park. Addie is raised with her cousin, Bea, and the two girls are closer than sisters until a great family secret tears them apart.

In New York in 1999, Addie's granddaughter, Clemmie Evans, hears hints of the family secrets and starts to investigate what happened. This book is wonderful women's fiction, with mystery, family saga, historical fiction and romance. The author's descriptions of Ashford Park and the English society of the time really brought me there. When the story took me to Kenya I could feel the heat, dirt, dust and insects. Chapter by chapter it goes from past to present, Addie's life to Clemmie's, and I must say I enjoyed both their stories. This is the type of book I wish for on rainy days, so I can curl up in my chair and spend the whole day reading and not worry about the dust collecting around the house. I can't wait to give it to my daughter I know she will love it.

I recently finished reading the book THE ASHFORD AFFAIR, which I won a couple of days ago. The synopsis immediately captured my attention and the plot was very intriguing. Even though it is an adult book, I enjoyed it just as much as my YA fiction. I highly recommend it to my friends and anyone who likes scandalous novels. The plot is something I've never seen or heard before and I like how original it is. Thank you so much for this amazing surprise! I loved the book and will reread it until my eyes fall out!

The author has written a very interesting novel that makes smooth transitions from early 20th century to the end of the century. The story is told with the voices of the grandmother, Addie, and the granddaughter, Clementine. As the plot moves smoothly among many locales and time periods, it is peppered with hints and signs of the unfolding story to come. The story evolves in a winding manner that held my attention throughout the book. I belong to two books clubs made up of women between the ages of 50 to 70. I would be very comfortable suggesting this book as one of our monthly selections. I will pass this book along to my neighbor.

Lauren Willig is a wonderful writer and although this was the first book I have read of hers I will definitely be looking into the others she has written. Ms. Willig tells a true love story that goes back and forth from Kenya in 1926 up to New York in 2001, and it is done through two main characters: Clementine Evans, a young, ambitious, dedicated lawyer who is trying to become partner and has just broken an engagement with her boyfriend and her 99-year-old grandmother, Addie.

When the book opens we are meeting the other members of the family who are attending Grandma's 99th birthday party which, of course, Clementine is late to due to work-related issues. We learn about Addie when she was a child and the problems she had to live with once her parents died in an accident and she was taken to Ashford to live with relatives of her parents. The story goes back and forth from WWI in Britain and the changes that were taking place to her and other family members, and the sacrifices they had to make. Then we are taken to Kenya where we learn more things that happened in Africa and secrets are revealed from the past.

After Clementine's beloved grandmother, Addie, has passed away, she is suddenly shocked after the funeral when her aunt and other members of the family start revealing some shocking secrets from the past that will now change her family forever.

In the end love does win out and you cheer for the happy ending. I recommend this as a must-read.

I just finished reading THE ASHFORD AFFAIR and would recommend this book to so many people. If you like mysteries, love affairs, family history, interesting characters and good writing, you find all that plus more in this book. Though the story starts slowly, like a kettle, it builds up steam and captures your interest and I dare you to not stay the course til the surprise ending!! Highly enjoyed!

First, let me thank you for sending me THE ASHFORD AFFAIR for winning a Women's Fiction contest. I must admit I was wary of starting a women's fiction book, but once I started I was hooked. I really enjoyed the characters and the way the author, Lauren Willig, spanned their lives from 1926 through 2000.

The last third of the book was particularly interesting because I literally could not put it down. When it ended I wished there was more to go. I have not felt this way about a book in some time.

I have not stopped talking about this book to my friends and family and have suggested that my wife, daughters, stepdaughter, granddaughters (when they are old enough) and my female friends all read this. I have also talked about it to my son and male friends as a book that they should give a try. I am sure that all will be pleasantly surprised and will enjoy this book as much as I did.  Thanks again.

I should firstly say that I entered and won a contest giving away THE ASHFORD AFFAIR. Thank you for that!

I had high hopes for the generational novel THE ASHFORD AFFAIR by bestselling author Lauren Willig. The career lawyer with no social life, a grandmother with a secret, while enticing, failed to live up to the mystery that "kept me up late into the night.”  From Ashford Park in the early 20th century to present day Manhattan, with a brief interlude in Kenya, the book had the makings of a fascinating tale reminiscent of Downton Abbey, but failed to deliver. I found few --- if any --- characters inspiring or likable. From other reviews it appears that this author, whom I've never read before, has lots of followers and they truly enjoyed this book.  

One thing I did like about the book was the movement from different timelines throughout history and the present day. I enjoyed the descriptions of Kenya, and the author wrote with richness of the country, which was appreciated. It was, to me, more of a romance novel than a historical fiction novel. I'm a character-driven reader, and the characters, to me, were rather distasteful.

I can think of several people that I know who will really enjoy this book, so I'm now going to pass it on! I think one of them has read a series of books by this author as well, so that will be a plus.