cover image Ashton Park

Ashton Park

Murray Pura. Harvest House, $13.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7369-5285-9

The first installment of Pura’s (The Wings of Morning) the Danforths of Lancashire series introduces the inhabitants of Ashton Park, a centuries-old manor near the shores of northwest England. Tensions of the early 20th century, including WWI and unrest in Ireland and Palestine, create a backdrop for a tale rife with suspense and emotional twists as the large extended Danforth family encounters its share of romance, human tragedy, and skullduggery. Sir William and Lady Elizabeth and their brood of independent-minded daughters and gallant sons have their honor tested, the bonds of family strained, and the goodness of God questioned. Amid trials and treachery, Pura draws poignant exhibitions of integrity, staunch lessons in forgiveness, and tender pictures of love and devotion. Pura excessively entwines the lives of the aristocratic Danforths with those of significantly lower stations, muddling the line between upstairs and downstairs in an apparent disregard for the strict class distinctions that would have been observed during the period covered by this book. Still, a most enjoyable introduction to an intriguing family saga. Agent: Les Stobbe, the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. (Jan.)