"The Ashford Affair" by accomplished author Lauren Willig is a perfect novel for readers wanting a bit of history, a bit of travel, a bit of English aristocracy, and a bit of romance. She seamlessly combines all those elements in this story about two women.
First we travel in time to the early twentieth century and meet Addie, leaving her home in England to travel to Africa. She's on her way to visit her cousin Bea, a cousin who took everything that should have been Addie's. She's not only visiting Bea, she's visiting Frederick, the man whom she had loved.
That story is intertwined with Clementine's story at the turn of this century (2000), as she struggles to be with her granny Addie at the end of Addie's life while still working long hours to make partner at a New York law firm. Clemmie's mother had long tutored her in the necessity of having a profession -- and making that a priority over having a love life.
When mysterious photos turn up and Clemmie learns some unsettling information about her grandmother, she decides it's time to investigate.
This charming and well-paced story is filled with adventure, mystery, high society, and a plethora of fascinating characters. The action moves from Manhattan approximately fifteen years ago to upper class England where alcohol and cocaine are in great demand and then to Kenya where the savage beasts are only an arm's length away.
For those not yet familiar with Willig's writing, this story will certainly leave you wanting more.
Please note: This review is based on the final paperback book provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Griffin, for review purposes.
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