‘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.