The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Two books came out at about the same time, both set in Africa in the 20s. I couldn't finish one of them--Deanna Raybourn's A Spear of Summer Grass--but I really enjoyed the other, Lauren Willig's The Ashford Affair.
I'm normally a big Deanna Raybourn fan. I love her Lady Julia series. Lady Julia is an eminently likable character, and her husband Brisbane is one of the most attractive male characters ever--brooding, mysterious, very cool.
But I had to quit reading A Spear of Summer Grass simply because I didn't like the characters. I had no sympathy or connection whatever with Delilah, and her male love interest just bored me. Definitely no Brisbane.
On the other hand, The Ashford Affair captured me immediately. I liked the main character, Clementine, very much. As for the characters from the past (the 1920's), I wasn't crazy about any of them, but I was vitally interested in their story.
Addie is one of the most multi-dimensional characters I've encountered in fiction. Kind of like real life--few people are totally good or bad. Addie had her likable, admirable qualities, but definitely her questionable ones as well.
Bea was much like Delilah in Raybourn's book, but unlike Delilah, she had to face the consequences of her selfish, devil-my-care attitude.
Altogether, an entertaining and absorbing tale.
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