The Mysterious Bookshop

Willig, Lauren, The Ashford Affair

Publishers Weekly
Willig takes us from the twilight of the British aristocracy to colonial Kenya to modern-day New York City in her first historical romance outside of the Pink Carnation Series. In 1906, five-year-old Addie Gillecote leaves Kenya after her parents’ death to live in London with her Aunt Vera and Uncle Charles, the Lord and Lady of Ashford. Treated as a charity case by her aunt, Addie is taken under her cousin Bea’s wing. As the girls grow close and come of age, Bea is touted as the “Debutante of the Decade.” She lands a young marquess, Marcus, in a seemingly perfect match, and Addie joins them in their new home, taking a position at The Bloomsbury Review. In 1999, Addie is 99 and beloved by her granddaughter, Clemmie, a lawyer looking to make partner. Clemmie sees the marriage between her grandmother and grandfather, Frederick, as her model for love and has recently ended an engagement because her fiancé did not measure up. After Addie dies, Clemmie, aided by her step-cousin, historian Jon, learns that their family’s history is more complicated than she imagined. Well-researched details of life in the 1920s lends texture to this solid historical novel.

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