Ashton Park

Ashton Park

by Murray Pura

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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.

Readers will follow Ashton Park’s charming upstairs/downstairs characters through the perils of war and the affairs of the heart with relish—and with an eye to the sequel.

Book One in The Danforths of Lancashire series

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736952866
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Series: The Danforths of Lancashire , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 12,937
File size: 822 KB

About the Author

Murray Pura earned his Master of Divinity degree from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and his ThM degree in theology and interdisciplinary studies from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more than 25 years, in addition to his writing, he has pastored churches in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Alberta. Murray’s writings have been shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award, the John Spencer Hill Literary Award, the Paraclete Fiction Award, and Toronto's Kobzar Literary Award. His novels for Harvest House include Face of Heaven, The Wings of Morning, and Ashton Park. Murray pastors and writes in southern Alberta near the Rocky Mountains. He and his wife, Linda, have a son and a daughter.

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Ashton Park 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Ashton Park is the first book in The Danforths of Lancashire trilogy. I enjoyed this family and reading about their lives during and directly after WWI. There are seven Danforth children to follow and we pick up portions of their stories as we read. Those stories build throughout the novel, adding up to very interesting lives. It took me a little bit of time to warm up to the characters, since there are so many to follow and the stories skip between siblings throughout the book, however, I now feel very invested in these characters and am looking forward to reading book two in the series, titled Beneath the Dover Sky. I enjoyed learning more about the English and Irish conflicts, as well as watching as different family members developed deeper faith in God. The family at the end of the book has had quite a transformation from the family that we are originally introduced to in the beginning. This book is packed with a lot of history, many characters and spans seven years time. An enjoyable read.
CharityU-Austenite More than 1 year ago
What a delightful book this turned out to be! I enjoyed getting to know the entire Danforth family so much. If you’ve heard anything about this book, you’ve probably heard that any fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy it. Having not yet seen Downton Abbey myself, I can’t speak to the truth of that statement – but from what I’ve read, I think it’s probably true. Certainly, anyone with an interest in World War I fiction will find this an interesting book! There were a lot of characters, and especially at the beginning, I had a bit of trouble keeping them apart. However, there was also at the beginning a Cast of Characters sheet – which I ignored, as I hate flipping back and forth to that kind of thing. So it’s at least somewhat my own fault that I had any confusion. As the book continued, however, I grew quite familiar with all of them, and attached to many. There was plenty of excitement and unexpected plot turns. This book will keep you guessing! Ashton Park – overall, a good book that I’ll keep in my library. Definitely anticipating the next one! Recommending for any fans of World War I fiction, period dramas. **The author sent me a copy of this book for review purposes. I was not recompensed in any other way for this review, and wasn’t required to be positive.**
hollydollyWA More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. It did remind me a little of Downton Abbey but more from a Christian standpoint.
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
Review: This is a very clever book about class and station. Each character has to overcome the place society has put them in whether it's wealth or service. Money nor work provides everything a person needs in life; and as each character finds out on their own, only with faith in God do they gain the world and all it holds. Pura's use of history to weave this tale together make for a great story. The characters come to life with each detail. At end I found myself wanting to know what happens next. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Harvest House Publishers on behalf of the author, Murray Pura, to facilitate our honest review.
Anonymous 3 months ago
If you like Downton Abbey, you will like these books as well. Great easy read and the characters are alive and you think they are real! Loved it
Anonymous 8 months ago
Took me a little to get interested, but I enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kisses you
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite The Magnificent Ancient Ashton Park estate in historical 1900’s of England and WW1 is the setting for this story about the Dansforth family. Between the walls of this home and its large and wealthy family and their enormous staff lurk tales and romances that will fill the minds of readers full with enjoyment. I always find it amusing when reading books about really large estates because of the vast staff it takes to run the family, and this story has many family members as well as many employees to take care of the many jobs on the Ashton Park estate. And there are so many family members and staff running this estate, giving this book a full cast of characters. Some I really liked and some not so well, but all played their roles so well to tell their story. The Dansforth family will keep your attention as you follow the journey into their everyday personal lives. As the guys in the family serve their military duty, the ladies are home awaiting to find that special guy just for them, and Lady Dansforth wants to make sure her daughters marry well. Imagine the tension in the family when one of those daughters falls for one of the staff members. I love it when this happens in a story because of the turmoil and tension it causes in the family, and it creates enough excitement in this book so that I couldn’t put it down! I really enjoyed this story with its Downtown Abbey effect and I especially loved the vivid scenes throughout the story of historical England. I highly recommend "Ashton Park" for a wonderful and enjoyable read.
JoyAnneTN More than 1 year ago
In the midst of WW1 Sir William and Lady Elizabeth live in an old family estate near the sea and have seven children, all of whom are expected to marry within their social class. Problems arise when that doesn't always happen. Sir William's family has attended the Church of England for generations, it's a given this will not change. Lady Elizabeth decides to visit a Baptist church while he is away on business... to her surprise she really enjoys it. Upon his return Sir William is not happy with what his wife has been doing. Lots of drama with good characters, however, it's a bit confusing to follow all seven children's lives. That's a lot of characters to keep up with! It's not easily read, at some points there are many things happening at once and at other times it moves too quickly. Overall, it's an enjoyable tale. 4 out of 5 stars. I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
GodBlessAmericaJB More than 1 year ago
I love this book!! My Review: If you love Downton Abbey you will love this book! Ashton Park, The Dansforths of Lancashire, Book #1 by Murray Pura is a work of art. Set in the early part of 1900's in England during World War I, this book will take you on a grand adventure with the Dansforth's family. I would love to see this series made into a PSB series. There are many great story lines in this book and the characters just draw you right in to their individual stories as well as the story as a whole. You will laugh, cry and find yourself cheering for your favorite characters. I will be the first in line for the next book in the series. Way to go, Murray, this is a winner and gets 5 out of 5 stars. I received this book from Net Galley and Harvest House Publishers for my honest review.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
Covering the many changes of England's society from 1916 to 1923, this Christian fiction book addresses one family's romances and marriages. Social lines are crossed and barriers are lifted. One of the themes of this work is that the Bible says that "God is no respecter of persons." People should not be judged on class. When I first saw the long list of characters, I groaned. However, I found myself appreciative of the list as I flipped back from time-to-time to review it.The author worked hard with many repetitions to help the reader remember who was who. Nonetheless, I did feel that overdone. Unnecessary repetition makes for a longer read. With so many characters, no one stood out; they were all alike--rather flat. Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Harvest House Publishers for my copy.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of Downtown Abbey, then you will absolutely fall in love with the latest novel from Murray Pura, Ashton Park. In this novel set in the early 1900's the reader is about to meet the Danforths of Lancashire, a wealthy family of 7 children, 3 boys and 4 girls. Along the journey you get a glimpse into each of their personal lives and the struggles they each face not only growing up in a well-to-do family but also in dealing the conflict that evidently follows when your family wants you to marry in the same class as they are. The parents Sir William and Lady Elizabeth Danforth struggle with the same issues all parents face. The sons, Edward, Kipp and Robbie are all serving in the armed forces just at the beginnings of World War 1. As any mother would be, Lady Elizabeth is praying for the safety of each of her sons and hopes that each will stay as far away from true danger as possible, but that will not be the case. With her daughters, Emma, Catherine, Elizabeth and Victoria, she has to deal with the issues of finding suitable husbands for each of them to marry into, only what's a parent to do when one of their daughters soon falls in love with a member of the household staff? The novel will definitely keep you on your toes as you attempt to keep up with each of the children, their love lives and the members of the household staff who are not mere supporting characters. In the truest sense of Downtown Abbey, it is bound to keep you guessing with what will be happening in the household next. Like most children, some are a bit on the rebellious side and wish to live their own life outside of what their parents believe is in their best interests. However will their parents wishes ultimately win out in the end? I received, Ashton Park compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Harvest House Publishers for my honest review and if you've never read a book from Murray Pura, then you are in for a real treat indeed. Contrary to the stereotypes that most women write from the heart of a woman when it comes to romance novels, Murray shatters that image. Having read his other books from Amish Historical Romance with a twist of stories from the wars and everything in between, he truly captures what women want I believe in their romance novels. He writes well rounded characters often portraying the women in them as strong and determined, not your frail weak willed, fall at the sight of any handsome man in the story. I believe this is what appeals to his female fans the most. In any case, this one will not disappoint fans of historical fiction among the wealthy class and see what happens when the family sleeps and the household staff have to tend to the needs of the estate. Truly one not to be rushed through and one I hope Murray Pura writes more of. This one hits home with a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
MarB1 More than 1 year ago
It is halfway through WW1 and there is a lot of unrest in England and Ireland. It is during this period that Sir William Danforth with his wife and seven children are trying to live a normal life at Ashton Park—a large estate with a beautiful manor, old family castle, forests, and the Irish Sea nearby. Sir William, the master of Ashton Park, and his wife Lady Elizabeth have three sons and four daughters. They are all of marriageable age—some are looking for love while others have already found it. It is expected that the children marry in their own class. But what will happen when they start falling in love with someone of the lower social class? Sir William expects everyone in his household to remain loyal to the Church of England, just like his family has been for many generations. When he is away for business – he is a Member of Parliament – his wife decides to go to a Baptist church together with the head cook. When Sir William finds out about this he’s none too pleased. There is a lot of drama in this exciting and enjoyable story. Is the family falling apart because the children go their own way? And what unforeseen dramas will occur after the children marry? I really liked seeing all the family members playing an important role, and all having their own drama to deal with. A story set in a tumultuous period, with lovely and lovable characters, looking for and finding romance—this is a fabulous read!