Siblings Charlie and Ros couldn't be more opposite. When
they both inherit Ashenden, an 18th century estate, they
have to decide if they want to keep it or sell it. While
they decide, the story goes through the many generations
that have lived in the house and helped shape it. From the
wealthy upstairs owners to the workers downstairs, the
people may change, but the house is always constant.
ASHENDEN by Elizabeth Wilhide has an excellent concept. The
idea of making each chapter of the story a chapter of the
house is so neat, and it's able to cross many boundaries
historically as the time span goes on. Because of that, I
was really hoping to love it, but sadly, I didn't like it as
much as I thought I would.
The writing is very beautiful, and I love how every chapter
opens with a description as to the actual state of the
house. It is also really cool how the generations are
connected through different people and how they tie in
together. However, because the story spans such a long
length of time and the chapters aren't that long, I never
felt that I really got to know any of the characters.
Sometimes so many names were introduced that I felt leaving
the chapter that I hardly could point out who was who. I can
easily see part of the point of the story being that the
estate, while it sees many, many stories within it, cannot
see everything, but I really missed getting to know the
characters in depth.
Wilhide does an awesome job at writing the story and I think
many people could really like this book, but I just had a
hard time fully enjoying it without strong characters. If
you prefer to look at themes and sequences (which are great
in this story) over characters, then you will probably be
able to like ASHENDEN more than I did.
THE HOUSE CONTAINS TIME. ITS WALLS HOLD STORIES. . . .
When brother and sister Charlie and Ros discover that they
have inherited Ashenden, the beautiful eighteenth-century
English country house steeped in their family history, they
face an important decision: Do they try to keep it or do
they sell it?
In a beguiling narrative spanning two and a half centuries,
we meet those who have built the house, lived in it, loved
it, and those who would subvert it to their own ends. The
walls of Ashenden echo with the lives of the architect who
directs the building of the house in 1775, the wealthy
Henderson family in their heyday, the maid who is tempted to
solve her problems by stealing a trinket, the Jazz Age
speculator who hosts a fabulous treasure hunt, the prisoners
held there during World War II, and the young couple who
lovingly restore it in the 1950s.
With upstairs and downstairs storylines intertwining to form
a rich tapestry, Ashenden is an evocative portrait of a
house that is a character as compelling as the people who