by Lauren Willig
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 thirty-four, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s ninety-ninth birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything. . . . (Description from Goodreads.com)
This standalone from Willig is just as well done as her Pink Carnation series. Once again the characters felt real and interesting, the romance was tested and then believable when it finally came together, and the settings were gorgeous and palpable.
In fact, setting-wise this is officially one of my new favorites of Willig's. I honestly had not known to this point that many of the British Aristocracy traveled to Africa in the 1920's. I loved learning about their culture in Kenya and found the juxtaposition between the farming and their glamorous parties so amazing. I personally am a little too chicken to go to Africa (I'm sure I'd be some hyena's snack in no time) but I love stories where other people thrive in a place that I wish I could travel.
I also really enjoyed the way that Clemmie and Addie's stories ended up intertwining as the story progressed. Both tales individually were great, but I loved how Willig showed Clemmie's outlook on life and love changing because of her view of her grandmother. I was definitely cheering for both Clemmie and John as their relationship changed as he helped Clemmie learn more about her family's past.
Full disclosure: Borrowed from my Library