Opening in Kenya in 1926 and moving from pre-World War I England to 1999 New York and back again, The Ashford Affair chronicles the life of popular debutante Lady Beatrice (Bea) Gillecote, her cousin, Addie, their loves and their offspring. Bea becomes her six-year-old cousin’s protector and champion when Addie is sent to live with her titled uncle and imperious aunt after the untimely death of her parents. Just a year older, Bea has the grace and confidence Addie lacks. When the two make their entrance into society, Bea is dubbed Debutante of the Decade and soon marries a marquise. Almost immediately the marriage flounders and Bea embarks on an affair with Fredrick, the man Addie loves. Scandal ensues. Bea’s infidelity is revealed; her husband divorces her; she marries Fredrick and the couple move to Kenya to establish a coffee plantation.
Running concurrently with the saga of Addie and Bea is the story of Addie’s granddaughter, Clementine (Clemmie). A senior associate at a Manhattan law firm, Clemmie sacrifices her personal life for the opportunity to be named partner. But as Addie lies dying Clemmie begins to question who she is, where she came from and whether she really wants a job that comes at such high expense.
Fans of family sagas with intertwining story lines such as the novels of Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper) or Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella will find much to enjoy in The Ashford Affair.
The Ashford Affair 358 pages