The Ashford Affair

  • by Lauren Willig
  • Narrated by Nicola Barber
  • 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Willig comes The Ashford Affair, a story about two women in different eras, and on different continents, who are connected by one deeply buried secret.
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 34, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s 99th 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 20th century, Addie has 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 are as different as night and day, Addie and Bea are closer than sisters, through relationships and challenges, and a war that changes 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 unfurl.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This book was a HUGE disappointment!!

I downloaded it on impulse after skimming over some promising reviews. I saw hopeful things like: “Downton Abbey” “Sweeping Saga” “Kate Morton” … what could go wrong?

GROAN. So. Not. Good. I was expecting Kate Morton and instead got Danielle Steel.

None of the characters are interesting, in fact they are maddening flat and cliché. Take our heroine for example, Clemmy. Ugh, that NAME! Clemmy, I hate it! It sounds like clammy. She is a modern super woman, but not too perfect since she has a crappy love life. Awww, good, now we mortals can relate to her and her silk hot pink lacy underwear. (When packing for a business trip to London, on a whim she decides to forgo the white cotton and be more risqué - was the point of that??? So dumb.)

Through Clappy, ...sorry – Clemmy, we discover the story of her beloved Granny Addie (ugh – too cutesy) in a series of flashbacks mixed in with modern day revelations. This style of storytelling can be really good IF THE MYSTERY IS INTERESTING.

I suppose you can say there are two “big events” in the story but I don’t want to give too much away. The first regards someone’s true identity and when Clippy, ...sorry – Clemmy, discovers the hidden secret she’s supposed to be angry and outraged and incensed, but instead she comes across more petulant than anything else which makes the whole story ten times more ridiculous. The second involves a disappearance and never really got juicy.

I won’t even bother getting into criticizing the romances (Climpy’s, sorry – Clemmy’s, and Addie’s) because in all fairness I find romances boring anyway.… suffice it to say it was not very original and kinda predictable.

I was ready to give up half way through and ask for my money back, but changed my mind and decided to hate-read it instead since I was not in the mood for anything else.

This book would make good material for a drinking game: every time Cloppy, ...sorry – Clemmy, thinks “there was something about the way ______” take a sip!! Equally easy for every time she gets a “prickly feeling on her skin” … it happened so often I began to wonder if the poor woman had a skin disease!!

Clearly, this book did nothing for me aside from providing me with perverse entertainment.
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- Simone "Follow me on Goodreads too!"

Guilty Pleasure

Would you consider the audio edition of The Ashford Affair to be better than the print version?

I switched between the audio and print versions (thanks to Whispersync ! ) and the story holds up either way. However, I loved the narration. Nicola Barber did an excellent reading.

What did you like best about this story?

I referred to this as a guilty pleasure. It's really just a romantic story, chick lit, even predictable, but the author was able to sustain the momentum of the narrative and keep the characters interesting. The excellent narration helped, too. Not great literature, but very entertaining.

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- Ruth Bain "RueRue"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-09-2013
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio