By Lauren Willig Editions: audiobook, ebook, hardcover, paperback Published/Expected pub here Genre: Adult Historical / Romance Source: NetGalley
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 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. . .
Bomy’s Flutter: touching and captivating
World Building: The Ashford Affair takes us on an amazing journey, from World War I British scenery and Kenya to 1999-2000 New York.
Characters: Clemmie was charming, overachiever, beautiful, accomplished and yet not absurd. She was a bit broken, and I always love these characters. I think Clemmie was the type of woman who’d seem like she had it all from the outside, that she was strong and independent and doing her thing in style; but she was also vulnerable, afraid but brave in the end. I loved her and I rooted for her happy ending (which she got).
Addie was simply fascinating, and I must admit I liked her as a character more then others in this story. She was the outsider, the other girl, and she dealt with that position with magnificent grace and strength. Her and Frederick’s love was absolutely disarming, and I loved their story to no ends. There were mistakes on all sides, but they all found it in themselves to rise above that, a noble trait.
I disliked Bea, but found a whole new mountain of respect for her by the end of this novel, because it takes a lot of guts to do what Bea did. She wasn’t perfect either, not by a long shot, but she had me impressed by the end, I’ll admit.
All characters were very strong, greatly built and they were easy to empathize with, even Bea. Awesome, awesome characters.
Favorite Character: Addie
Plot: The story follows two timelines, both in chronological order. One centers on Addie with some Bea – her cousin – insights, the other centers around Clemmie (Addie’s granddaughter). Both Addie and Clemmie’s stories are interesting, but I found Addie’s to be simply put fascinating. The two arcs entwine in ways you’ll find surprising and exciting, and deliver a powerful and beautiful story.
Writing: Third person narrative mainly from Clemmie’s and Addie’s POV, with some insights from Bea’s. I loved the Brittish tone of Addie’s POV and the American tone of Clemmie’s, and the scenery was beautifully described and felt alive. Beautiful, beautiful writing.
Curb Appeal: If you’re into WWI stories, instant buy material. It has a gorgeous cover, intriguing blurb and a great presentation.
All in all, I highly recommend this novel if you’re ready to follow two arcs and put your heart on the line. Because I won’t lie, I sniffled in places, the stories are just that good.