Dance the Moon Down
written by R.L. Bartram
published by Authors Online
Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the author to review his book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: Yes.
Mr. Bartram takes a period in history that’s been written about quite a bit and investigates it from a different angle. The book is primarily told from the point of view of a young, newlywed whose husband volunteers to serve in the British military during World War I.
The novel starts just before the war so we get a glimpse of life both before, during, and after a huge historical shift; not only among nations, but also in attitudes and opportunities. I was surprised to see how similar the beliefs, expectations, and perspectives in Britain mirrored those we have here in the U.S. All this time, I thought we were original – hmm, guess not.
I enjoyed the writing style and felt the book moved along nicely.
The only element that didn’t work for me was the narrator’s point of view. I’m a very linear thinker. Nothing would make me happier than to see the entire globe organized in outlines and bulleted lists. Ah, my heart skips a beat just thinking about it.
This author floated between character’s thoughts and emotions in a way that distracted me. I like to be in one character’s head at a time. Otherwise, I feel shaken out of the flow of the story.
Would I recommend it: Yes.
About the book – from 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.