Monday, January 28, 2013

Ashton Park Review

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 outside the expectations of their parents and social class as well as status.
The Dansforth family is steeped the Anglican faith.  Sir William is a Member of Parliament and a man of deep religious convictions and faith.  Lady Elizabeth is woman of faith and loves to garden while her husband is away taking care of political matters.  The younger sister of Sir William as well as William’s grandparents live with them on the estate known as Ashton Park, living in various parts of the castle and grounds.  Surrounded by servants with various responsibilities, the family also has members serving in the various ways during World War I.
Like a tapestry having many threads of various colors, so too has Murray Pura written a tale as complex and mysterious.  When the reader completes the novel, he/she will realize what a completely inspiring story is before them.  There are multiple themes, plots, scenes, and more that are easily followed as the author gives the reader time in one scene, then breaks to take the reader elsewhere in the story.  It is not hard to follow the many family members and servants plus side characters that come together to make the story compelling and intriguing.
Faith is for some seen to be very strong while others faith is tested.  For some, they have lost their faith all together.  In the tale, are scenes when prayer and Bible reading are shown for what they really are--life changing.  When the younger generation challenges the rituals and traditions of the prior generations, lives are thrown into turmoil.
The story includes a murder plot, tragedy and the choice to love and forgive, but not in an off-handed way.  The characters wrestle with their faith, actions, decisions, and words just like life today.  It is hard to write a review of this novel because of the richness and depth of the book.  A sequel is already to be published later this year, and I can’t wait.  Novels that show such transparency of hearts that are loved or ripped apart by tragedy yet bound together in Christ are so encouraging to read.  While this is a work of fiction to be sure, the reader will be able to imagine in the mind’s eye the scenes described.  It’s a masterpiece for those who love to read a tale that is so lifelike.  I have read a couple of novels by Murray Pura that have different time periods and characters.  Never have I been disappointed to read this author’s tales.  Time flies when I get engrossed in the story.  It is my hope that you will read this latest novel, enjoy it and share it with others.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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