‘An engrossing debut…a sparkling jewel: full of fascinating detail, high drama and sly wit.’ Amanda Foreman
‘I adored this book; I saw it as a love letter to a vanished way of life…Very touching and very compelling.’ Penny Vincenzi
‘Lively interlinked historical vignettes display distinct post-Downton commercial savvy…a pleasurably subtle web of connections…a beguilingly effortless read.’ Daily Mail
‘An affecting, intelligent debut which goes way beyond posh country house antics…’ Guardian
July’s ‘Author of the Month’ on All About You, the website for National Magazine’s titles, including Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful and Country Living.
Read the interview here.
Spring 2010, and when Charlie and Ros inherit Ashenden from their aunt Reggie a decision must be made. The beautiful eighteenth-century house, set in acres of English countryside, is in need of serious repair. Do they try to keep it in the family, or will they have to sell?
Moving back in time, in an interwoven narrative spanning two and a half centuries, we witness the house from its beginnings through to the present day. Along the way we meet those who have built the house, lived in it and loved it; those who have worked in it, and those who would subvert it to their own ends, including Mrs Trimble, housekeeper to the rackety, spendthrift Mores; the wealthy Henderson family, in their Victorian heyday; six-year-old Pudge; Walter Beckmann, prisoner in its grounds; and Reggie and Hugo, agents of its postwar revival.
Through good times and bad, the better we get to know the house, the more we care about its survival. A novel about people, architecture and living history, Ashenden is an evocative and allusive reflection on England and its past.
December 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm
Hello, looking very forward to the audiobook version. Will it be available soon? Sooner the better I say. Merry Christmas.
December 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm
It should be out now, I think. It’s certainly available as a download. Merry Christmas to you too! Glad you are looking forward to hearing Ashenden read aloud!
January 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm
Just finished reading Ashenden – think it is a fabulous book, please write another novel soon.
January 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I am writing another, also set in the past
March 15, 2013 at 3:08 am
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice, I’m doing several Jane Austen themed posts on my blog Novel Travelist, http://noveltravelist.blogspot.com/. I’ll mention your book with regards to Netherfield. Would you like to be interviewed about your research process for the novel?
March 15, 2013 at 9:53 am
Thank you for thinking of me! I’d be delighted to be interviewed.
March 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm
Great. Please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk.
April 14, 2013 at 6:53 am
I was looking through some of your articles on this internet site and I believe this website is real instructive! Retain posting.
May 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm
I just reviewed your book on LibraryThing, and gave it 5 stars! I only give 5 stars maybe once a year… absolutely wonderful read! Good job and PLEASE write more. I will sign up for your newsletters to keep track, your new avid fan, Mary West, Millbury MA.
May 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm
Thanks so much, Mary! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. I’m about two-thirds the way through another one and comments like this really help to keep me going…
May 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm
Great, when can we expect it to hit the shelves? I would love to ear mark some date, and or a title on my calendar…
May 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm
Watch this space! I’m not through the first draft yet. But I can tell you that the next one is not episodic and is set largely in London during the Second World War. Working title: The Angel Roof.
June 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Hello! Just thought I’d check in and see how the writing is going … I have a reminder on my calendar that pops up once a month, check The Angel Roof for publishing date… hope all is well, I can’t imagine the work involved in writing a book so I would never rush anyone, Mary West
June 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm
On the second draft now! Fingers crossed my publisher likes it! Thanks so much for your interest. It means a lot!
May 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Sounds great! Good luck and have a nice summer! Mary
July 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm
Just finished “Ashenden” and loved it! Definitely recommending it to all my reader friends. Thank you so much.
Cheryl – USA
July 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm
Thanks so much for telling me, Cheryl! So glad you enjoyed it.
April 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm
I’m honored that you’re following my blog. You’re the first author to acknowledge that she’s read my review of her work. Thank you. Are you working on another novel?
April 14, 2015 at 2:30 pm
Well, thank you for the review! I tweeted it, if you don’t mind. I thought it was very perceptive — especially the praise! Seriously, you’re quite right about the framing story, which doesn’t quite grab you enough. As for women with their backs turned on book jackets, perhaps least said about that the better. I’ve just finished a new novel, called The Angel Roof. It’s set in WWII and will be published early next year by Penguin in this country, hopefully in the States too.
April 16, 2015 at 8:58 pm
That comment about the praise was tongue-in-cheek, by the way. Your books sound very interesting!
June 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm
Thank you for a most enjoyable weekend reading Ashenden. Sarah in Ottawa, Canada.
June 28, 2015 at 10:43 pm
Thank you Sarah!
Give my regards to Ottawa. I grew up not very far away in Brockville.
all the best, Elizabeth