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Ashton Park

(The Danforths of Lancashire #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  71 reviews
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
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 2013 by Harvest House Publishers
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Marian Baay
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
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
Fascinating epic of the Danforth family of the 1000 yr old Ashton Park estate in Lancashire...
Nearing 400 pages of small print and covering 6 years of a large number of intertwined character's lives, this book is for readers who love delving into another era and have enough time to immerse themselves in the lives of another world. Definitely resembling the lengthy Downton Abbey series only in written form. Not for readers faint of heart.

Canadian author, Murray Pura, has used an intriguing style
Jan 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013, netgalley
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 (although it is always a relief to find books that set somewhere other than in the US). Sadly, my fears were soon confirmed.

Things don’t
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
Probably one of the most disappointing books I have read this year. I have read worse books, but this one did not reach the criteria I needed for an enjoyable read. I won't go on about how bad it was, but there were several errors in the writing as well as awkwardly phrased sentences that left me scratching my head in bewilderment as to what the author meant to say.

Not only was that just plain annoying to have to go through, but the character development was poorly done. There were so many of
Charity U
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mr. Pura can write! I am partial to Downton Abbey-esque fiction, so this was fascinating to me. However, unlike Downton, upstairs family mixed with downstairs servants much less formally...friendly even.

This book follows the Danforth family, the master of which is a member of Parliament. The years are 1916 (during WWI) through half of 1923. Seven adult children, Sir Danford's sister, and grandparents all call Ashton Park home. Add to that a slew of servants that we get to know very well and
Melmac MacDonald
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alright I'll admit it, I'm a huge fan of Downton Abbey. Nothing to be ashamed about that other than I hate to be part of the status quo. I was reluctant to read this book because I feel like Downton Abbey "like" books are quickly becoming a new trend in fiction. Trend or not, status quo or not this was an excellent book. I very much enjoyed it. Pura does a wonderful job of weaving a tale.

I do have a couple of complaints. At times I felt as if the story too closely mirrored Downton Abbey and I
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rich historical detail and vivid characterization bring the Danforth family to life as they struggle with wartime distress and the diminishment of class boundaries that result in romances between nobility and staff that would have been impossible before the global conflict. William in particular wrestles with his conscience and his faith as he is tempted to maintain social inequality while realizing that God loves everyone equally. Pura’s novel is perfect for fans of Downton Abbey.

Sir William
Diana Montgomery
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ashton Park
By: Murray Pura

If you like Downton Abbey you are going to love Murray Pura’s Ashton Park. Ashton Park is book one in The Danforths of Lancashire series. Story takes place in the 1916 during the time of the First World War. Sir William and Lady Elizabeth have three sons in uniform and four daughters who have various pursuits in their lives.
I liked how Sir William insist his family have morning devotions not only for the family but for the family and the staff. I like the Christian
Lisa at Farm Fresh Adventures
Supposedly if you love Downton Abbey, you will love this new series...well I have never watched any of Downtown Abbey...but I sure did love this first book! I am all about period books, and focusing on this time in England during the unrest of WWI as well as the growing fight with Ireland for their independence....what a hot bet of strife that time was!

I liked watching how the author spent time with each of the adult children so we could learn a bit about them. I only wish we had more time to
Carole Jarvis
Loved the British setting and that this was a family saga, but there were a lot of shortcomings for me. I was drawn to this book because of the comparison to Downton Abbey, but wasn't thrilled.

My full review:
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, historical
**Spoilers Ahead** It's a review, what can I say?

I will say this was an interesting read. I did not get too 'bored' or find myself refusing to pick up the book to continue. I rather liked most of the characters - though it took at least half the book and frequent flipping to the character list to sort out who was who, but it was not a chore to read about these characters, even if I wasn't entirely sure who they were. Most of them were clarified with last names for the first while, so it was
Cathy Barwick
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very historical read as well as captivating characters. I like that at the beginning of the book you get a quick overview of all characters and who they are married to or related to as it is a bit challenging to keep them straight.

I have learned a lot of history reading this series!
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I agree if you liked Downton Abbey you will probably enjoy this book. It does have it's own twist being set in Ireland. I look forward to reading the sequels.
Kathleen E.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Friday, June 28, 2013
Murray Pura's Ashton Park: Book One in The Danforths of Lancashire series, 2013

The First World War has engulfed Europe. The three sons of Sir William and Lady Elizabeth Dansforth are all in uniform―their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

Ashton Park is the first of The Danforths of Lancashire trilogy by Murray Pura, set in Lancashire, England in 1916-1923.

Wouldn't you like to join Todd Turpin, assistant groundskeeper, with the fragrant
Victor Gentile
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Murray Pura in his new book, “Ashton Park” Book One in The Danforths of Lancashire series published by Harvest House Publishers takes us into the life of Victoria Danforth and the goings on at her home, Ashton Park.

From the Back Cover: Behind the doors of the ancient and magnificent Ashton Park estate, there lurks the high drama of romance between the nobility and the household staff.

But when war (and interference from a meddlesome sister) separates Victoria Danforth from Ben Whitecross–one of
Lisa Johnson
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Title: Ashton Park (The Dansforths of Lancashire)
Author: Murray Pura
Pages: 384
Year: 2013
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
This is a tale of historical fiction set in the beginning of the 1900s, with action scenes all over Europe, centering around one family by the name of Dansforth. The author must have done such research to include the details of some true historical events in the fictional setting. It begins with the adult children of Lord and Lady Dansforth learning to live their lives
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
The back of the book boasts, if you like Downton Abbey, you'll love this book.
I do like Downton Abbey, and I did like the book. It is too much like Downton though. For example, the youngest daughter is in love with someone who works for her father and is marching for the women's right to vote. Sound familiar, Downton fans?
My other beef is that the book is very episodic. There is not one plot line that goes throughout the novel. Plots develop, climax and resolve within a few chapters in most of
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
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 ...more
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptional and exhilarating saga featuring a wealthy and large aristocratic family called the Danforth’s of Lancashire who reside in an ancient, grand manor on their Ashton Park Estate. There is nothing stuffy about this story however, considering it is replete with forbidden romances; suspenseful drama and action; and intrigue aplenty. Ashton Park carries a semblance of Downton Abbey but whether you’re a fan or not, you can be sure this novel is definitely livelier and more ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
This book is being marketed with the line, "If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, you'll enjoy your visit to Ashton Park." I'm a devoted Downton fan, but I have to say, I didn't enjoy Ashton Park nearly as much as I enjoy Downton Abbey. It was a very slow read for me, and normally I can get through a Christian historical novel in just a couple of days. This novel, with its dense prose, smaller print, and longer passages of time interspersed with chapters simultaneously coinciding with each other, ...more
Gina Burgess
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
We live in a fast lane society now with nothing taking more than 30 seconds to heat in a microwave. That truism is never more evident than in this book which supposedly takes place in the 19th century. I can tell the editors have chopped this story up to make it more "palatable" for the "modern reader" who is whizzed past many interesting scenes without being given the opportunity to savor or even soak up any of them. The characters are presented to the reader in sort of a lazy-susan fashion so ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was my second book to read by Murray Pura and I have enjoyed both. I will read more of his books. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey you will love this book.
This is book one in The Danforth's Of Lancashire series.
Ashton Park has a lot of characters in it. I caught myself going back to the front of the book, where Murray has a character page. Thank you Murray for this character page.
This book starts out in 1916 and there is this magnificent Ashton Park Estate. Sir William is husband to Lady
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it

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
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
A sweeping family saga encompassing the years of transition, and changing times that ushered in the 1920's.

Set during and after WWI this book follows the seven children of Sir William and Lady Elizabeth, Edward, Catherine, Kipp, Robbie, Emma, Libby, and Victoria, as they weather the storms of life and find love both at Ashton Park and abroad.

At first I will admit that it was a bit confusing to keep track of all of the characters, especially which ones were Danforth siblings, but in no time at
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-reviewed
I could break down what this book is about but since it is scheduled for release soon I know there are many reviews out there that break down what the book is about. I will focus on my thoughts of the length of the book and the multiple conflicts that happened to the family.

I really enjoyed this book other than how long it was. I am used to reading a book in 1 or 2 nights. It took me a week to read this book. I would have liked it better if it was broken into 2-3 books and made into a longer
Vera Godley
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Ashton Park the author, Murray Pura, takes us into the lives of the family of Sir William Danforth and Lady Elizabeth Danforth at the beginning of World War I. The airplane is brand new and a major tool in the war conflict. The class system in England is still in place in that among the wealthy and elite the servants and upper class do not mingle except as master and servant.

Sir William is a devout protestant in a land that still strongly remembers the conflict between Catholicism and
This is a fascinating saga about a large English family of nobility, their servants, and their struggles and triumphs from 1916 to 1923. Sir William and his wife have seven grown children, three boys serving during World War I, and one daughter a nurse in France. Their youngest has fallen in love with a groomsman and he is forced to leave by the head of the staff. As the world changes, will this family cling to their old ways or cross lines of class and wealth?

This is an exciting story that has
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-netgalley
Standing firm in one's cause can often times elicit many challenges.

Sir William and his wife Lady Elizabeth Danforth are master and mistress of Ashton Park in Lancashire England and have three sons and four daughters. William, as well as their sons, are pledged to defend their homeland of England in World War I. With a yearning for independence, the forces of frequent adversaries are swift taking with them at times innocent victims. Onshore as well as off duty and love have snarred the hearts of
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pura has written a gentle book about the era of 'class' in England which carried over into the US culture as well. This book has a gentle Christian focus that is a little different from other books in this early 20th century genre -- a pleasant side track which I enjoyed.

There are more books in this series which I am looking forward to.

In Ashton Park, the large family is supportive — I would say if I had to find a TV comparable in family, it would be Blue Bloods with featuring Tom Selleck and a
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 17, 2014 06:37AM  
Christian Fiction...: ❀Abbi and Megan❀ Ashton Park by Murray Pura 1 5 Dec 26, 2012 10:23PM  

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Murray Pura was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, just north of the Dakotas and Minnesota. His first novel was released in Toronto and was a finalist for the Dartmouth Book Award. He has been a finalist for several awards in the US and Canada and in 2012 won the Word Award of Toronto for Best Historical Novel. Murray lives and writes in Alberta and is currently published by Barbour, ...more

Other books in the series

The Danforths of Lancashire (3 books)
  • Beneath the Dover Sky (The Danforths of Lancashire #2)
  • London Dawn (The Danforths of Lancashire #3)