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Ashford Affair, The Paperback – 17 Apr 2013
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
While there is nothing amiss about Willig's two narratives, those readers already familiar with the formula might find each character's revelations dull when compared to other authors who have mastered this technique. In fact, Willig's own novel, "That Summer" set in the world of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood does a far better job of pulling the reader in than this one does.
Even though "The Ashford Affair" boasts of a colonial African backdrop--shades of "Out of Africa"--the ambiance isn't there--the story could take place anywhere with a crop change of soy or alfalfa instead of the requisite coffee. Willig does manage to report the sense of ennui that occurred after WW1 and plagued an entire generation tired of war and its aftermath. Nonetheless, the story seems stale and predictable when viewed within the context of this genre.
Bottom line? Lauren Willig's novel of English aristocracy and the desire to find meaning and love after WW1 works on a perfunctory level; the modern story line of lawyer Clemmie and her failure to succeed in relationships seems formulaic rather than fresh. Recommended for those who are looking for a rehash of Kate Morton's "The House at Riverton" without the details and character building, indulge and enjoy.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
"Buzzard's Eye View"
I know she researched, and carefully crafted this book. I know she is talented.
But in the end. This one was a boring book till the end. From the binning till the end, I felt a constant jumping and rushing and I never really felt that I was part of the story. There were peak moments. But it felt rushed. And then so much information was thrown at the reader but all the sudden we are at a dramatic point and it has to be aligned differently.
I can see what she was trying to do. Keep us guessing, make us wonder and also follow and enjoy the story.
But half way through she lost me. Her style is this jumping back and forth. Her skill is while she is jumping in history and time, she can really create both worlds so well that you are part of either one. And love both of them.
But this one was full of exploding moments and never a floating story so to speak. Several open ends were there and then finally, the end.. I wanted more explanations, answers. But also understood why she ended it as she did. And I can't say I dislike it. It was well done. I wished I had been given the information how Bea had done it. But also understand that she left that out because it wasn't written down anywhere. She put a modern ending to the book and tried to touch all open ends a little bit. I honestly found it boring and interesting. There were many good ideas she used. But for me some didn't line up and some were just too much.
All in all a nice book. But not an exciting read.