Review: The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig

Description (from cover):

‘FromNew York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig comes a page-turning novel about two women in different eras, and on different continents, who are connected by one deeply buried secret…

As a lawyer at a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working toward–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…

Growing up at Ashford Park in the early twentieth century, Addie never quite belonged. When her parents passed away, she was taken into the grand English house by her aristocratic aunt and uncle, and raised side by side with her beautiful and outgoing cousin, Bea. Though they were as different as night and day, Addie and Bea were closer than sisters through relationships and challenges and a war that changed the face of Europe irrevocably. But what happens when something finally comes along that can’t be shared? When the love of sisterhood is tested by a bond that’s even stronger?

From the inner circles of British society to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the red-dirt hills of Kenya, the never-told secrets of a woman and a family unfold.’

My thoughts:

All of a sudden it seems like everyone is on the Kate Morton bandwagon. This book, among some others I have read recently, seem to be based on Kate Morton’s formula for a great intrigue-filled book. This one was no exception. It bothers me to an extent because who wouldn’t love to read something fresh and not overdone? But for some reason this formula works and captivates the reader from page one making it really hard to put it down. Lauren Willig is absolutely one of my favorite historical mystery writers. I absolutely adore her Pink Carnation series and when I saw that she was writing something a little out of her normal comfort zone, I was thrilled! I congratulate her on branching out and trying something completely different.

Even though the theme seems to be a familiar one here recently, this was still a very good read. Addie and Bea’s characters were beautifully created by an author who took the time to get to know her characters. Their story is captivating and utterly glamorous and it’s hard not to imagine yourself among the brilliance of English high society. Glittering balls and the dinginess of nightclubs, as well as the uncultivated lands of Kenya, make for an interesting tale rich in detail. I loved the way the author weaved the past and the present into her tale as it made the mystery set in the past so much more interesting. I was dying to get to the end of this one just find out what happened. I really enjoyed the nice little twist at the end.

Some of this story was predictable, but I will give it to the author, she did sneak in some surprises that I did not see coming. For people familiar with Lauren Willig’s amazing writing style and historical details, this book will not leave you disappointed. If you are interested in a historical fiction book with a hint of mystery, very closely along the lines of Kate Morton, then I highly encourage you to pick this one up. Don’t expect this one to be an exact replica of Kate Morton’s works, because Willig does have her own writing style that will leave you wanting to read more.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  The Ashford Affair
Author:  Lauren Willig
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date:  April 9, 2013
Pages:  368
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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