Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ashton Park by Murray Pura

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Ashton Park

Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2013)


Murray Pura


Murray Pura was born and raised in Manitoba, just north of Minnesota and the Dakotas. He has published several novels and short story collections in Canada, and has been short-listed for a number of awards. His first books to be published in the United States are the inspirational works Rooted and Streams (both by Zondervan in 2010). His first novel to debut in the USA is A Bride’s Flight from Virginia City, Montana (Barbour), which was released January 2012. The second, The Wings of Morning, will be published by Harvest House on February 1. Both of these novels center around the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ashton Park, go HERE.

Margie's Comments: I think I'm one of the very few who hasn't yet seen an episode of Downton Abbey. (Yes, I know! Late to the party, but I'm working on catching up soon.) However, Murray Pura's Ashton Park did appeal to me because of the marketing comparing it to the popular BBC series. And the story hasn't disappointed. The book is rich with well-drawn characters surrounding the Danforth family and their estate. Beginning in 1916 in the heart of WW1, the family deals with weddings, three sons in the British military, Sir William's political outspoken political views contrary to the prime minister's, the rebellion in Ireland, and three daughters each dealing with the issues of their day—not always amicable. The story covers seven years and is full of the many twists and turns of life. An excellent read, Ashton Park will leave you wanting more of the Danforths. 

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