Monday Give Away: ASHFORD en Francais

Look what popped up in my mailbox last week? The Ashford Affair en Francais!

Ashford en Francais

Snazzy cover, no?

In September, once The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla is safely out in the world, I’ll do an Ashford around the world give away, with copies in German, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French and Polish up for grabs. But I couldn’t resist spreading the francophone joy right away.

Here’s the official blurb:

Juriste dans une grande entreprise new-yorkaise, Clementine a tout sacrifié à sa carrière. A trente-quatre ans, c’est seule qu’elle se rend à la fête d’anniversaire organisée pour les quatre-vingt-dix-neuf ans de sa grand-mère, Addie. Pendant les festivités, Clementine découvre un secret de famille enfoui depuis des années. Lorsqu’elle arrive à Ashford Park, en 1905, Addie a à peine cinq ans et est orpheline. Bien que son oncle et sa tante lui fassent comprendre qu’elle n’a été recueillie que par charité, elle passe une enfance et une adolescence heureuses auprès de sa cousine, la belle et audacieuse Bea. Quand la guerre éclate, leurs chemins se séparent. Addie s’engage comme infirmière tandis que Bea fait un mariage de convenance. Après un scandaleux divorce, cette dernière quitte Londres pour épouser le petit ami d’Addie, et s’enfuir avec lui au Kenya. Les deux cousines ne se parleront plus pendant quelques années jusqu’au jour où Bea supplie Addie de venir lui rendre visite en Afrique. Leurs retrouvailles sont de courte durée : Bea disparaît tragiquement lors d’un safari, ne laissant derrière elle qu’une écharpe ensanglantée. Que lui est-il arrivé? A-t-elle été assassinée, attaquée par des fauves? S’est-elle enfuie? Si les retrouvailles avec sa cousine ne furent pas celles qu’Addie espérait, elles lui laissent entrevoir un tout autre avenir.

For a copy of The Ashford Affair, aka Ashford Park, in French, here’s your question:

— What’s your favorite French novel?

(I might have to go with Dumas’s Three Musketeers.)

Spread the word to your French speaking friends! This contest is open internationally (as are all contests on this site, always). The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

Ashford Park came out in France on May 14. You can also find it in Canada.


  1. Celine on June 30, 2014 at 8:54 am

    As fas as I know, Ashford Park is only available online in Canada, I haven’t been able to find it in a bookstore yet, but any bookstore has it available on order!!! \o/
    I have told my mum to go and get it as soon as she can!!!

    As for the question….
    My favourite French book… Well, it’s so hard, because there are sooooo many!
    In the classics, I would say (I’ll give the French titles) Les Trois Mousquetaires and La Reine Margot (Dumas), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Choderlos de Laclos), Le Rouge et le Noir (Stendhal)…
    More recently, I have loved La Delicatesse, by David Foenkinos, which was adapted at the cinema with Audrey Tautou…
    I could go on and on… there are so many books I love! I remember a book that my grand-mother had given me, about a young doctor (a woman) in the 60’s, in the country, working covertly to help women get contraception or abortion at a time when both were illegal and/or inexistant…. I have always loved this book, both because of the subject and because it was given to me by my grand-mother!

  2. Paula Scott on June 30, 2014 at 9:32 am

    My favorite French novel is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. But I read that in English. I read Le Petit Prince in French, and have never read it in English. In modern times, I loved Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (Elle S’appelait Sarah). I’d love a copy of the Ashford Affair in French.

  3. Amélie Grenier on June 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

    For a long time my favourite French book was Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes, I reread it last year, and I was so disappointed as it’s so sad in the end and I was wondering if we liked more sad books when we are younger … So now I would say my favourite is Au Bonheur des Dames written by Emile Zola. I’d love a copy of your book in French.

  4. jessica nelson on June 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I like anything by Emile Zola.

  5. Kathy Miller on June 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    “The Count of Monte Cristo” by A. Dumas pere, is by far one of the best books I have ever read, regardless of the language!

  6. katie on June 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    How to pick?? As a French lit. Major in college, I’ve read so many. I’ll have to stick with a classic and go with Le rouge et le noir by Stendhal.

  7. Jacqueline de Floris on June 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    “Bel Ami” by Maupassant. Or, anything by Guy de Maupassant.

  8. Lauren Ashley on June 30, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Having just returned from France, I did a lot of re-reading of my favorite French classics. I have to say my favorite though would be Le Fantôme de l’Opéra with the Three Musketeers being a close second.

  9. bn100 on June 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    don’t think I’ve read one

  10. Teje Ellis on July 1, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Probably Madame Bovary. But my favorite novel about France is Desiree by Annamarie Selinko.

  11. Emily on July 1, 2014 at 8:25 am

    My favorite is probably Emile Zola’s “La Bete Humaine”

  12. Betty S. on July 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    “The Count of Monte Cristo” – always a favorite. I also enjoyed “Chocolat”, both book and movie. Originally a French major in college, I, too, read a lot of Maupasant and enjoyed “Madame Bovary”. A book with a French hero (although set in England) that I enjoyed rereading recently is Daphne DuMaurier’s “Frenchman’s Creek”.

    What a great offer!

  13. Ashley on July 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    The Phantom of the Opera is my favorite!

  14. DJ La Haie on July 1, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Any book in the “Colombes du Roi Soleil” series by Ann-Marie Desplat-Duc. They’re set in 17th century France at the school for girls founded by Mme de Maintenon, Saint-Cyr. Each book focuses on one of the girls and her adventures–romantic and otherwise! Aimed at teenagers, it’s a wonderful way to keep my hand in with la langue francaise.

  15. Alexa J on July 2, 2014 at 6:11 am

    I enjoyed Je Voudrais Que Quelqu’un M’Attende Quelque Part by Anna Gavalda.

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