Author: R L Bartram
My Rating: 8 out of 10
------------- This book was sent to me by the author for a fair and honest review. ------------
Summary (thanks Goodreads): In 1910, no one believed there would ever be a war with Germany. Safe in her affluent middle-class life, the rumours held no significance for Victoria either. It was her father's decision to enroll her at university that began to change all that. There she befriendes the rebellious and outspoken Beryl Whittaker, an emergent suffragette, but it is her love for Gerald Avery, a talented young poet from a neighbouring university that sets the seal on her future. After a clandestine romance, they marry in January 1914, but with the outbreak of the First World War, Gerald volunteeres but within months has gone missing in France. Convinced that he is still alive, Victoria's initial attempts to discover what has become of him, implicate her in a murderous assault on Lord Kitchener resulting in her being interrogated as a spy, and later tempted to adultery. Now virtually destitute, Victoria is reduced to finding work as a common labourer on a run down farm, where she discovers a world of unimaginable ignorance and poverty. It is only her conviction that Gerald will some day return that sustaines her through the dark days of hardship and privation as her life becomes a battle of faith against adversity.
My Thoughts: Wow. Can I just take a second to say how much I was truly craving a really really good historical fiction? Dance The Moon Down seriously couldn't have come at a better time. I have a strange fascination with all things World War. I love hearing stories from the soldiers point of view, and when I first looked at this, I thought that's what it would be. Rare do you find a historical fiction, about World War I, no less, written in a woman's point of view. I seriously loved reading about the woman's struggle, and the woman's heartbreak that came with the War. There was enough about the war to keep my interest peaked, but the story focused on the people that were the most affected by the war, and what happens after the war occurs. I loved the characters, and I love how we saw them grow and change and how changed they really were by everything. The characters were incredibly realistic, and incredibly charming at the same time. Even though she was good at making me crazy, and good at making me want to pull my hair out - I loved Victoria, I'm pretty sure it'd be impossible not to. I loved Gerald. There was just something about him that made me love him. The novel was extremely well written, and it was easy to get lost in the time line and plot of the story. I definitely, beyond a shadow of any doubt, recommend this to any and all who enjoy historical fiction. Even if it isn't your cup of tea (hahaha, get it? Because it happens in England), pick it up, because it is worth every second of your time. I promise.
Final Thoughts: This book is has re-kindled my love for historical fiction. I seriously forgot how much I truly loved it.
Thank you, Robert Bartram, for sending me a copy of your novel!