Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ashton Park

Author: Murray Pura
Publisher: Harvest House
January 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7369-5285-9
Genre: Historical

For fans of the hugely popular Downton Abbey series, comes this equally enthralling story of the Danforth family of Ashton Park.

Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park.

The year is 1916.  The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William's and Lady Elizabeth's three sons are all in uniform--and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting. During his long absences, Lady Elizabeth discreetly spends time in the company of the head cook of the manor, Mrs. Longstaff, who is her best friend and confidante. This friendship includes visits to a small Baptist church in Liverpool that exposes Lady Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship and preaching than she is used to and which she comes to enjoy.

ASHTON PARK is book one in Mr. Pura’s The Danforths of Lancashire series. Fans of European World War I stories will devour this book full of life-like characters and a believable plot.  I have never watched Downtown Abbey (no TV) but this story is touted as being similar to it. I can’t say whether it is or not. 

I do admit to skimming a lot, and there were some things that bothered me (English don’t sound like Americans, a French wife who is okay with her husband loving another woman, stuff like that), but all in all it was an okay read. Fans will want to have Beneath the Dover Sky on hand (I read these two in reverse order) so they can continue on with the story.  $13.99. 352 pages.  

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