Ashton Park has been compared, in many reviews and video trailers, to Downton Abbey, a British TV epic which I hope you have have enjoyed watching. Except while the characters in Downton Abbey pay lip service to their religion, those in Ashton Park are more assertive in their Christian expressions.
I believe that no author, in any country, on any continent, can make up stories that are more complicated than real life. Ashton Park is not Downton Abby. They are two tales about an era that is particularly intriguing to readers and TV viewers at the present time, but I also believe they are stories in either venue that will be able to hold their foundational place in literature after the present craze has faded.
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 fantastic cast. Each member of the family has to deal with what must have been traumatic social changes in the era. There is political unrest in the Empire and around the world. Social unrest — people are beginning to return to human, individual character, something that has been bound by corsets and politics for at least a generation in a stagnating culture. The economy isn’t addressed much in the story, but I think that had some bearing on the changes as well. The class structure is fragile and will crumble.
The Christian aspect of Ashton Park is gentle, but does address doctrines and a lot of tolerance. Other reviewers have had problems with the passion of the characters and some of their entanglements. I see people maturing in a manner that they wouldn’t be expecting, driven by a desire to break out of the ‘safe’ but incredibly stifling culture of the day. Their ‘social media’ group is incredible small and closely bound. They will always be a sort of “all for one and one for all” set of people connected for generations. As their expectations mature, other cultures are blended in and I see an enriched social group where each has become less self-centered, more tolerant and caring. They are a mirror of society at the time in the Empire.
This is a solid book that may not become a classic, but you can be proud of have it on your bookshelf. You can let someone see that you’ve stored it on your Kindle without worry that you will appear to have ‘lower reading taste’. The book has tension and adventure, but no smut. That appeals to me as a reader. There are more books in the series, building a saga, so some strings have been left dangling for us to wonder about.
I bought a copy of this book for my Kindle and received a printed copy from Harvest House to peruse and enjoy. Enjoy it I did and I’m looking forward to the next one. As you shop for pleasure reading, I recommend this book as I do all of Murray Pura’s writing. You will be pleasantly surprised at the variety across his style — you can read one right after the other without the “seen one, seen ’em all” experience. I do read other authors, but not simply as an exercise to break literary monotony.
I don’t do a book report, but a review of my opinion and experience with a book. I don’t like to spoil surprises for you.