Title: Ballroom, The
Authors: Hope, Anna
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 350
Year: 2016
Publisher: Penguin Books
Language: English
Description: The Edwardian era is coming to a close, but at Sharston Asylum on the Yorkshire moors, it is business as usual. Their progressive approach to using music to help rehabilitation allows Friday night dances in the ballroom, the only time the men and women come together, and it is here that John Mulligan and Ella Fay meet. But the greatest barrier to their growing attraction is not the segregation but Dr Charles Fuller and his fascination with the practice of eugenics, misusing his authority, and with John in his sights.

From its historically accurate backdrop to its beautiful descriptions of the countryside, this is a poignant and absorbing story that examines our notions of madness and sanity through its sensitively drawn characters and their compelling back stories.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I loved this book. I found it compelling reading right from the start."

"The language flows and there are lovely descriptions of the natural world."

"It is always educational to have a novel set against an actual historical event - we are right there in that hot and fevered summer while the coronation proceeds, the workers revolt and the world moves slowly towards the Great War."

"I found this a sad read. What else could it be, set in an asylum in 1911? There are moments of great beauty but I found the sad content outweighed the uplifting."

"This is a novel about communication – the longing to reach out to others and of the spirit that is within John and Ella to survive."

"The book highlights the horrendous conditions for working class people at the start of the 20th century - such a short time ago."

Categories: Fiction, Historical, Love story, Medical/Health, Psychology, Social commentary/perspectives, England, 2018 Titles


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