When & Where: I was reading the same article, "The Clarks: An American Story of Wealth, Scandal, and Mystery" when I came across the word auspices a few minutes later. The sentence was: "No married couple ever started married life under more brilliant auspices."
Level of Familiarity: I think I've heard this word before. I think it has something to do with style and reputation because the article was discussing how notorious the family was.
What it Means: www.dictionary.com has two definitions:
1. Patronage; support; sponsorship
2. A sign or omen, especially one that is favorable
Reflective Commentary: Based on the context the word is used in I believe the second definition makes more sense. However, it is surprising to me that it usually is referring to a favorable omen because the article was very critical and somewhat negative about the Clark family. Also, the family lived in scandal and bad fortune, so I'm not sure how true that statement is. I can't see myself using this word in the future because I'm still not very comfortable with what it means.