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.


This is the first of Murray Pura's books that I've read and I have to say I was quite impressed.

Angst and turmoil surround the Danforth's and not just in matters of love and loyalty. Timing this novel through a time of global crisis added another dimension to this engaging story. Add in the relationships of the Danforth children, with a number of them finding love outside the spectrum of the noble class, as well as a gentlemen's duel, and the drama of being a wanted man make for a dramatic and satisfying read.

I've not seen Downton Abbey, so I can't vouch for any similarities there, but I will say if you enjoy a book primarily set in the British Isles during a time of war, with drama and romance and unexpected twists, then this is a book you'll want to pick up. I was hooked from the very beginning and didn't want it to end. I'll be looking for book two, Beneath the Dover Sky, coming in August 2013.

My thanks to CFBA and Harvest House for generously providing a copy for review.

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

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