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Where love is your only escapeInside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows there is a ballroom I haven t had much time to write this review since I finished reading this book a couple of days ago but I ve been thinking about these characters and their story so much so that as I m writing this I have decided to up my rating from 4 to 5 stars It was just shy of 5 stars for me because I felt it a little slow at times but the I thought about it I realized how the slow moving time really depicted what it was like for these patients as they waited for the next dance in The Ballroom or waited for a time when they would be freeI was very much reminded of What She Left Behind a novel about people in an asylum in upstate NY This one in England didn t seem a whole lot different where you may be institutionalized when you may not be mentally ill and subjected to awful treatment both physical and psychological and where the actions of asylum staff are disturbing than the actions for which the patients are deemed insane There are three narrative perspectives here Ella a young woman who has lived a life of abuse at home and has a hard working life at a mill breaks a window to see the sky and is admitted to the asylum John an Irish farmer has suffered losses and is sent here from the workhouses Charles an insecure doctor escaping his father and a tedious life wants to do something important but it is horrible and at the expense of Tom Ella and Ella s friend Clem It s hard to read at times The beautiful possibilities of friendship and love in such a dark place and these unforgettable characters were the only lights In some respects this is a commentary on the mental health treatment in the early 1900 s a personal statement as the author tells us that her great great grandfather was a patient in an asylum but at its core this is a love story that will touch anyone with a heart There are many books that have given me a knot in my stomach a lump in my throat and a few that make me cry This was one that did all three It s haunting and gnawing yet beautifully written Thanks to Random House Publishing Group Random House and NetGalley

CHARACTERS ç THECOLCHESTERCIRCLE.CO.UK ´ Anna Hope

The Ballroom

Twave summer of the end of the Edwardian era THE BALLROOM is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession of madness and sanity and of who gets to decide which is whic Beautiful Simple Sincere Poetic What else can I say Just finished this lovely story 1911 Set over the heatwave summer of 1911 at the end of the Edwardian era The ballroom is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession of madness and sanity and of who gets to decide which is whichInside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows there is a ballroom vast and beautiful For one bright evening a week they come together and dance When John and Ella meet it is a dance that will change two lives forever The story is told in chapters alternating between John Ella and Charles the doctor The doctor who turns out to be maybe insane than some of the inhabitants of the asylum spiraling down a dark and desperate road Beautiful writing poetic a romantic and tragic story A heartbreakerbeautiful More later andVery recommended

Anna Hope ´ 1 READ

Vast and beautiful For one bright evening every week they come together and dance When John and Ella meet It is a dance that will change two lives foreverSet over the hea I hate that this is overFor one day a week 2 hours on a Friday night both women and men who have been segregated in the asylum are brought together in the ballroom For one night they have the pleasure of listening to music and dancing as if they were normal Where for 2 hours they feel human They feel hope They feel a connection Until it s decided that it be stopped as an act of punishmentI loved the characters Ella in an act of defiance although recognized as deviance is imprisoned in the asylum John after losing his only daughter goes into a deep depression and he too is placed in this hospital for lunatics In the loneliness and madness that surrounds them they find each other and a romance blossoms until the rules change and their very existence is uestionedAnd dear Clem the avid reader who befriends Ella Charles the doctor whose initial beliefs on patient reform was well ahead of his time until his goodwill is not reciprocated and becomes diabolical and vengefulThis was an atmospheric and descriptive read While I was enraptured with the story it made my veins pulse The views of that time held by those who were considered intelligent just made my head spin And the epilogue well it just tore out my heart and left me feeling a little heavierA moving and memorable story Loved it 5


10 thoughts on “The Ballroom

  1. says:

    I haven't had much time to write this review since I finished reading this book a couple of days ago but I've been thinking about these characters and their story so much so that as I'm writing this I have decided to up my rating from 4 to 5 stars It was just shy of 5 stars for me because I felt it a little slow at times but the I thought about it I realized how the slow moving time really depicted what it was

  2. says:

    Well this wasn’t the experience I had hoped for There’s a tiny part of me that feels this story teetered on the very edg

  3. says:

    Update since I can't stop thinking about this I'm moving this up to 5 starsIreland 1911Love found in an insane asylum by a man and woman who were institutionalized without having a mental disorder This is what was heartbreaking People locked up for no reasonThe Ballroom in the asylum was used on Friday nights for dances for the men and women who were housed separately this being their only bright spot of the weekThe doc

  4. says:

    Unlike music excessive reading has been shown to be dangerous for the female mindThe Ballroom often feels lush in nature

  5. says:

    This has been a difficult review in the sense that I initially couldn't pinpoint what it was that didn't feel right for me Up to the middle I knew I liked it enough to continue reading my overall impression was positive but it wasn't

  6. says:

    I hate that this is overFor one day a week 2 hours on a Friday night both women and men who have been segregated in the asylum are brought together in the ballroom For one night they have the pleasure of listening to music and danc

  7. says:

    Beautiful Simple Sincere Poetic What else can I say Just finished this lovely story 1911 Set over the heatwave summer of 1911 at the end of the Edwardian era The ballroom is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession

  8. says:

    I received a copy of The Ballroom by Anna Hope through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Random House and to Anna Hope for the opportunityWho would know the things inside her if she stayed in this placeElla Fay has cast her lot by breaking a covered window in a factory where she labored in a most bleek manner as a spinner The tig

  9. says:

    45 Heartfelt StarsThe Ballroom by Anna Hope was my very first Traveling Sister Group Read with Brenda Norma Lindsay and JanB It was an amazingly rewarding experience with incredibly kind inspiring smart and simply wonderful women The group read and discussions that ensued opened my eyes to a lot of things about the book that I would not hav

  10. says:

    45 stars What a touching and unforgettable read This was our first Traveling Sister Read with Norma Brenda JanB and Susanne We had such a won