Book - 2013
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Baker & Taylor
A saga of the upstairs and downstairs residents of an English country house spans more than two centuries and includes the stories of its original architect, soldiers billeted in the house during World War I, and a young couple who restores the house in the 1950s.

& Taylor

An epic saga of the upstairs and downstairs residents of an English country house spans some 240 years and includes the stories of its original architect, a Victorian family that shared four decades of family history, soldiers billeted in the house during World War I and a young couple who restores the house in the 1950s.

Simon and Schuster
Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, a beautifully atmospheric novel about an English country house and the people who inhabit it, upstairs and downstairs, over the course of 240 years.

A novel about people, a country estate, and living history

“The house contains time. Its walls hold stories. Births and deaths, comings and goings, people and events passing through. . . . For now, however, it lies suspended in a kind of emptiness, as if it has fallen asleep or someone has put it under a spell. This silence won’t last: can’t last. Something will have to be done.”

When brother and sister Charlie and Ros discover that they have inherited their aunt’s grand English country house, they must decide if they should sell it. As they survey the effects of time on the estate’s architectural treasures, a narrative spanning two and a half centuries unfolds. We meet those who built the house, lived in it and loved it, worked in it, and those who would subvert it to their own ends. Each chapter is skillfully woven into the others so that the storylines of the upstairs and downstairs characters and their relatives and descendants intertwine to make a rich tapestry. A beautifully written novel full of humor, heart, and poignancy, Ashenden is an evocative portrait of a house that becomes a character as compelling as the people who inhabit it.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451684865
Characteristics: 339 p. ; 24 cm


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Feb 08, 2016

Ashenden is a stately English country home built in 1775. This novel runs from 1775 through 2010 and tells the stories of the various families who owned the house. The house itself is also a character as it fluctuates from use as a single-family home to a World War I hospital to a pop star's private retreat. Since the people range from Lords and Ladies to servants, the reader gets a strong sense of English country life through two centuries. This book is the Willa Cather Book Club selection for February 2016.

May 28, 2014

A story of a manor house from the point of view of each of the owners and saviors. As each section moves forward you find out more of how the house has survived and sometimes thrived as well as some of the stories of the owners. People come and go, bu places go on. A lovely sweeping epic. This novel reminds of some of my favorite books by Norah Lofts like A Wayside Tavern and Pargeters.

Aug 19, 2013

I really wanted to like this, but it was so slow I didn't finish it!

mrsgail5756 Jul 13, 2013

If you are a Downy Abbey fan,you will enjoy this book.

Mar 26, 2013

really this sounds just like Downton Abbey, I know i will be disappointed because I'll compare this book to that series. She needs to come up with something more original.

hgeng63 Feb 07, 2013

Disappointing, though an okay time-killer. Some of these characters are really annoying. Why should we care for some of these characters? Also, there should have been endpaper drawings of Ashenden.

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