The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig

ashfordaffairTwo women, two time periods, a little geneology and one dark secret.  The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig is some enjoyable historical fiction.  You may have read Willig’s previous Pink Carnation series set in the Napoleonic era–this novel is an unrelated stand-alone, and my first read by this author.  I found The Ashford Affair was a quick, light read, but very enjoyable when that kind of book fits the bill.

Clementine Evans is a Manhattan attorney, at a turning point.  Her engagement is off, she doesn’t make partner at her law firm, she isn’t particularly happy…her life is falling apart.  She attends her grandmother Addie’s 99th birthday party out of obligation, and learns of a long hidden family secret.  Intrigued, Clementine sets out to learn more, and in the process, finally grows up and out of herself.  The book alternates between Addie and Clementine, moving back and forth between the past and the present, and slowly peeling back the layers of the secret.  We discover Addie was an orphan and went to live with wealthy relatives in Ashford Park when she was a young girl.  As is often the case in literature, she was not welcomed easily.  She does befriend her cousin Bea, and their friendship is tested, so alas, the family secret.

The ending is satisfying.  If you like good characters, a family saga, a great landscape and a little romance, this will make for a good read.

The Falmouth Memorial Library owns a copy of The Ashford Affair.