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 coming in Fall 2013.
Book One in The Danforths of Lancashire series
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.