Monday, January 28, 2013

Ashton Park - A Book Review

I must say I was drawn to wanting to read this book when the synopsis says for people who love Downton Abbey.  If you know me at all, you know I am absolutely smitten with the show and have seen seasons 1 & 2 many times.  I love the snark, the relationships, the drama, the laughter.  So, you tell me a book is similar and I'll give it a go.

However, this book is not one I will be reading over and over.  The book focuses on the Danforth family of Ashton Park.  Sir William and Lady Elizabeth are the parents to seven children.  The book tells the story of each of the children, as well as focusing on Sir William, Lady Elizabeth, his sister, and one of each of their parents.  Once I finally learned to keep all the characters straight I enjoyed the dialogue and the relationships that were happening.  Did I love it as much as Downton?  No.  I found it to be a bit too cheesy and predictable in the story lines. Were there some surprises, of course, but the overall who will end up with who was pretty much obvious from the first meeting of each of the characters.  However, I feel for writing a book which focused on a family with 7 children, and each of the children had a story line in the book, that Murray Pura did an excellent job of giving each their own unique experiences and share of the pages.  I felt at times that I would have rather read a book on each of them, than the combined story, but at the same time with the book being written this way, it kept from having to read a lot of useless pages that might have been necessary to fill each character's story.

So if you would like to read something set in the early 1900s with a similar feel to Downton, I would recommend this.  It was not the easy reading chick-lit that I usually pick up (since I had to keep referencing the character list at the front of the book to see who I was reading about) but it was enjoyable in its own way.  It's a one time read, and I cannot say I regret having read it as I have other books.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ashton Park, go HERE.

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