A striking, eloquent and desperately beautiful novel, set during 1911 in a Yorkshire asylum. John, Ella and Charles find themselves at the edge of an impossible future, each decision they make, sets connecting wheels in motion. This is a fictional story, with fictional main characters, however it is firmly based in fact. On reading the Author’s Note at the end, I understood why the emotional connection the writing gave to these characters, was so intense. Anna Hope writes with a powerful pen, one moment whispering, flickering emotions dart across the page, in the next a ferocious roar almost overwhelms, and I savoured every word. I literally couldn't put ‘The Ballroom’ down, I felt the unimaginable fear and mayhem, suffered every moment of confusion, and willed love and friendship to flight. While a profound darkness shadows the story, I found myself with a heart full of aching hope. This is a captivating, penetrating and thought-provoking read that I highly recommend. ~ Liz Robinson
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A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
'The Ballroom took my breath away when I first read it and still does now, when I revisit it. For the sheer power and musicality of its language; the striking relevance of its themes of love and madness and social mobility; the radiance of its personalities, all of them so indelibly drawn that they live and breathe in your mind.
Anna really understands character, not only as agents for a riveting story, but also as spectres of the human condition. John, Ella, Charles – all of their narratives feel so immediately urgent as you turn the page, but they also have a greater resonance, something lasting and elemental. When reading The Ballroom, I feel the spark of Thomas Hardy, D H Lawrence, even Cyrano de Bergerac, and I know that I’m reading the early work of a truly iconic writer.' ~ Jane Lawson, Editor, Doubleday