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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 fiance 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. Agent: Joe Veltre, Artists Literary Group. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In 1906 London, five-year-old orphan Addie Gillecote is taken in by her uncle, the Earl of Ashford, and his wife. Addie is instantly aware that her place in life is below the daughters of the house, no matter what her older cousin and protector Bea tells her. Remaining close as adults, Addie and Bea find that it's marriage for one and work for the other that mark the beginning of their troubles. Decades later nothing is as it was, and it may be for the better. Mysterious family secrets are slowly revealed through a variety of voices, none of which tells the whole story. All contribute pieces of the puzzle, however, as readers become more deeply acquainted with these endearing personalities. The dysfunctional nature of elite society in the 1920s, complacent in England or exiled in Kenya, adds intriguing social commentary to a story full of fabulous period details and complex relationships. -VERDICT With this standalone, new readers will have the opportunity to enjoy Willig's talent for balancing multiple, connected storylines without the added pressure of a long-standing series, while returning fans will enjoy hidden "Pink Carnation" references and the pleasure of another novel well done. [see Prepub Alert, 10/8/12; library marketing]-Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L. , OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Willig veers away from her Pink Carnation Regency spy series in this stand-alone offering, which follows Clementine Evans, an ambitious young lawyer who decides to dig into her family's history after discovering she bears more than a passing resemblance to a cousin of her grandmother's who she's never heard of. Clemmie's grandmother, Addie, and the cousin, Bea, grew up together in England in the early twentieth century after Addie's parents died and Bea's family took Addie in. Addie grew up in the glamorous Bea's shadow, eventually losing Frederick, the man she loved, to Bea. In the present, Clemmie tries to reconcile this new information with what she knows about Addie's long and happy marriage to Frederick. Clemmie feels especially betrayed by Jon, the handsome stepson of her mother's sister, who clearly knows more than he's letting on. Though it lacks the swashbuckling charm of her long-running series, Willig's new outing takes readers from WWI-era London to Kenya of the 1920s to New York in the 1990s, offering plenty of twists and intrigue to keep them entertained.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2010 Booklist