Hardback The ballroom / Anna Hope.
Publication year: 2016
Publisher: London : Doubleday,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9780857521965 (hbk.) :
1911: Inside 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 both vast and beautiful. For one bright evening every week they come together and dance. And, when John and Ella meet, it is a dance that will change two lives forever.
349 pages ; 23 cm
In the main I found this a miserably depressing read although in the final epilogue there is glimmer of hope. Set in a old "Mental Asylum" not currently PC but in 1911 that's what they were. Institutions where a young mill girl can be sent for breaking a window, a young widower who lost his wife & child can be sent for being "melancholic" & a young girl who refuses to eat, self harms is also locked away. The young doctor considered a failure by his family and wannabe musician at first seems pleasant wants to improve things for the inmates by music & weekly dances which he thinks will improve the well being of all patients, pretty obvious now, but then? He becomes interested in eugenics & the forced sterilisation of the lower classes to the point of forcibly performing a vasectomy on an unknowing patient. Slow at times & definitely dark & depressing epilogue excepted.