The Ballroom: A Novel by Anna Hope
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was so hauntingly real. It touched on historical happenings around the time of 1911 like eugenics, horrors of asylums, and various crimes. The setting is richly described by the author, the way that she puts pen to paper really drags you beautifully into that world and makes you rethink what you thought that you understood about that time period.(Edwardian period of history)
There is a love story, but I would venture to say that it's a side plot-line that gets attention, but it's not the main thing that goes on in the story. It alternates between 3 narratives third person perspective, which I feel like that "overall" step-back perspective was perfectly appropriate. We have Ella, a woman who was declared insane for a simple showing of madness and has to adjust to confusing life at the asylum. John a hard-worker who has a lot of baggage from his past and not that much prospect for the future it seems. And Charles, one of the main doctors/violinists in charge of taking care of the patients as a staff member, brimming with ideas on how to get things "better" his way.
It's enough to say that although all of the character's story were quite intertwined, I could appreciate how individual their voices seemed. The symbol that the ballroom represented to the people housed there was genuinely "shone through" this book, and I was that it's as much realism as symbolism on the author's choice of title.
This book will make you cry, make you sigh, but you can't stop turning the pages. Absolutely fascinated by this book and would reccomend readers to open the first page into the journey of life.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.**
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