From the internationally acclaimed author of Wake comes a haunting story of love, insanity, and revolution set at the brink of the Great War.
Yorkshire, England, 1911: After a moment of defiance at the factory where she has worked since she was a child, Ella Fay finds herself an unwilling patient at the Sharston Asylum. Ella knows she is not mad, but she might have to learn to play the game before she can make a true bid for freedom. John Mulligan is a chronic patient, frozen with grief since the death of his child, but when Ella runs towards him one morning in an attempt to escape the place where he has found refuge, everything changes. It is in the ornate ballroom at the centre of the asylum, where the male and female patients are allowed to gather every Friday evening to dance, that Ella and John begin a tentative, secret correspondence that will have shattering consequences, as love and the possibility of redemption are set against one ambitious doctor's eagerness to make his mark in the burgeoning field of eugenics, at all costs.
Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, at a time when England was at the point of revolt, The Ballroom is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.
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ANNA HOPE studied English at Oxford, attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and then received an M.A. in creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. She lives in London. Her first novel, Wake, was a finalist for the National Book Awards and the Historical Writers' Association's Debut Crown Award. Hope's second novel, The Ballroom, is inspired by the true story of her great-great-grandfather who emigrated from Ireland. Follow her on Twitter @Anna_Hope. The author lives in London, UK.Review:
Praise for The Ballroom:
· “A British version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Moving, fascinating.” – The Times
· “The Ballroom is a beautifully wrought novel, a tender, heartbreaking and insightful exploration of the longings that survive in the most inhospitable environments.” – The Sunday Express
· “The Ballroom has all the intensity and lyricism of Hope’s debut, Wake. At its heart is a tender and absorbing love story that is battling against circumstance, but it also holds up a mirror to the moral and philosophical preoccupations of the period.” – The Daily Mail
· “Hope skilfully and subtly deconstructs our notions of madness, revealing how inextricably linked those definitions are to questions of class and gender. . . . As with Hope’s highly acclaimed debut novel, Wake, the writing is elegant and insightful; she writes beautifully about human emotion, landscape and weather.” – The Guardian
· “Hope picked up rave reviews for her first novel Wake. The Ballroom confirms her as a novelist of immense power . . . Hope’s writing is beautiful. Exquisitely good.” – Metro
· “The Ballroom, Hope’s second novel, is even better. This is fiction at its finest - a book you can read in one sitting, in which the reader is utterly transported to another time and place, within the bounds of a very skilled author's imagination. . . . It gathers pace, gradually gaining momentum until it builds and builds into a devastating crescendo that will be guaranteed to move even the most hardened cynic.” – Irish Independent
· “Part social commentary, part mystery and part dangerous liaison, this poignant story casts an unflinching gaze at the historic treatment of mental health disorders.” – Financial Times
· “Anna Hope has proven once again that she is a luminary in historical fiction. Writing history from the margins, the personal stories behind the era, she delivers profound, poignant narratives that stir the emotions. . . . If you thought Anna Hope’s debut was good, this is even better.” – Irish Examiner
· “An unsentimental and affecting story” – The Sunday Times
· “Anna Hope’s magnificent second novel The Ballroom, [is] the follow-up to her impressive debut of last year, Wake. Anna Hope has proven once again she is a luminary in historical fiction, delivers profound, poignant narratives that stir the emotions. . . . In a compelling and masterful way. . . . If you thought Anna Hope’s debut was good, this one is even better. And if you haven’t read either, you’re seriously missing out.” – The Yorkshire Post
· “A heartbreaking story of how love can flourish in the darkest of times” – Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love
· “A poignant against-the-odds love story.” – Glamour
· “An original, brilliant, evocative novel.” – Chris Cleave, author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven
· “The Ballroom is a well-crafted tale, made imminently readable by Hope’s lyrical writing style.” – stuff.co.nz
· “The Ballroom is a provocative account of the brutal effects of industrialization, poverty, sexism and misguided social policy on the hearts and minds of working people, and on women in particular. . . . [It] successfully blends historical research with emotional intelligence to explore the tensions and trials of the human condition with grace and insight.” – New York Times
· “Hope’s novel reminds us that love can flourish in the bleakest circumstances and depicts the mentally ill with humanity and grace.” – Fredericksburg.com
Praise for Wake:
· "A masterclass in historical fiction, the like of which, outside the pages of a Sarah Waters novel, one rarely sees." -- The Guardian
· "A compelling and emotionally charged debut about the painful aftermath of war and the ways -- small, brave or commonplace -- that keep us going. It touches feelings we know, and settings -- dance halls, war front, queues outside the grocer -- that we don't. I loved it." -- Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
· "A tender and timely novel, full of compassion and quiet insight. The author gives us a moving and original glimpse into the haunted peace after the Great War, her characters drawn by the gravity of the unmarked, the unknown and perhaps, finally, the unhoped for." -- Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee
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Book Description Doubleday, 2016. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110857521969
Book Description Doubleday, 2016. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0857521969