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Ashton Park (#01 in The Danforths Of Lancashire Series)

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Ashton Park (#01 in The Danforths Of Lancashire Series)
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Ashton Park (#01 in The Danforths Of Lancashire Series)

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



- Publisher

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About "Ashton Park (#01 in The Danforths Of Lancashire Series)"

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


- Publisher

Meet the Author

Murray Andrew Pura

Murray Pura lives by the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in the Canadian Rockies and is a pastor, who received degrees from Acadia University and Regent College, and whose published works include Mizzly Fitch, Mister Good Morning; The Poets off Windhover Marsh; Vital Christianity: The Life and Spirituality of William Wilberforce and most recently Rooted: Reflections on the Gardens in Scripture; Streams: Reflections on the Waters in Scripture and Zo

Murray's writings have been shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award, the John Spencer Hill Literary Award, and the Paraclete Fiction Award.
Koorong -Editorial Review.

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Customer Reviews For "Ashton Park (#01 in The Danforths Of Lancashire Series)"

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A Christian Downton Abbey? No.
1 stars By Iola, Feb 01 2013
Ashton Park, the first in The Danforths of Lancashire series, is being marketed as for those who watch Downton Abbey (isn't that everyone?). It is written by a Canadian author and published by an American company. I had a natural fear that it would be full of illogical Americanisms which I find very annoying in books written by Americans but set in England. 

Sadly, my fears were soon confirmed.

Our first introduction is to Victoria, one of the Danforth daughters, who comes across as spirited if somewhat unappealing. In this, she reminds me of Lady Mary, my least favourite character from Downton Abbey. Unfortunately, while Lady Mary has improved with age, I am unable to say the same for Victoria. Overall, the characters are lifeless, missing the acerbic wit of the Dowager Duchess, and the dry wit of Carson, the butler at Downton Abbey.

In some respects, Pura has captured the English essence, like putting up bunting for a celebration. In others, he has failed miserably. There was the patronising spelling of English words like Leftenant' and 'ma'arm'. There were factual errors, like references to Northern Ireland (which didn't exist until 1921) and Christchurch, Oxford (Christchurch is a city in New Zealand. The Oxford college is Christ Church).

There was a conversation about passing notes to girls in school, at a time when only the lower classes attended mixed schools. At one point, Kipp couldn't seem to remember what little French he knew', where most boys of his social class would have received extensive schooling in both French and Latin. And, as a single man in April 1916, Ben Whitecross should already have been conscripted (under the Military Service Act), so shouldn't have been at Ashton to woo Victoria. I'm also not convinced that a Conservative would have been in favour of Home Rule for Ireland, as this implies.

And then we have the Americanisms - quit (resigned in this context), gotten (received - the English don't use gotten as the past participle of get'), two hundred and thirty pounds of weight (the English weigh in stone and pounds), calling people cute', meaning attractive (it meant shrewd' in England at this time), eating oatmeal (porridge), cables (telegrams), and May thirty-first (the thirty-first of May).

I haven't read any previous books by Murray Pura, because the ones I've seen have been Amish, a genre I don't particularly care for. Based on Ashton Park, I don't think I will read any of his future books either. Please, authors, if you are going to set books in England, make sure the facts are correct and make sure your English characters don't sound like Americans. Not recommended for those who like their historical fiction to be historically and culturally accurate.

Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. 
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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 370095
  • Product Code 9780736952866
  • ISBN 0736952861
  • EAN 9780736952866
  • Department General Books
  • Category Fiction
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Harvest House
  • Publication Date Jan 2013
  • Sales Rank #50404
  • DRM Adobe
  • Printable No

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