ISBN: 0552779474 Global Overview for this book
1 journaler for this copy...
Amid this heady ambience, John Mulligan and Ella Fay first meet. John is a sure-footed dancer with a clouded, secretive face; Ella is as skittish as a colt, with her knobby knees and flushed cheeks. Despite their grim circumstances, the unlikely pair strikes up a tenuous courtship. During the week, he writes letters smuggled to her in secret, unaware that Ella cannot read. She enlists a friend to read them aloud and gains resolve from the force of John's words, each sentence a stirring incantation. And, of course, there's always the promise of the ballroom.
Then one of them receives an unexpected opportunity to leave Sharston for good. As Anna Hope's powerful, bittersweet novel unfolds, John and Ella face an agonizing dilemma: whether to cling to familiar comforts or to confront a new world - living apart, yet forever changed.
At times it's a moving, tender love story & at others, the tension building had me on the edge of my seat wondering what cruelty would be inflicted next. The characters are
believable enough with John & Ella's tale staying sweet without straying into twee & retaining an air of innocence. However, other passions are running high, namely those of Dr Fuller who is fighting feelings he can't/won't accept, & of course there's the obligatory baddie in the guise of the nasty Brandt - luckily the writer manages to avoid turning him into a stereotypical villain.
The claustrophobic atmosphere of the wards & women's work is well conveyed, especially as by contrast some of the men are allowed the relative freedom of outdoor work. An awful place indeed for those who shouldn't have ever been placed there. Let's not forget, how shocking it is to think that people were treated in this way just 100 years ago & the idea that...& I quote..."..excessive reading has been shown to be dangerous to the female mind", is frankly incredible to me. Can you imagine not being allowed to read? *AAARGGH*...no, me neither...........
Overall a really good read, though with, I have to say, a rather obvious ending, yet one which is so fitting that it really couldn't have ended any other way & so it's predictability is forgiven :o)
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Released as part of the NOVEMBER "THE" CHALLENGE (#16)
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