Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Dance the Moon Down by R.L. Bartram

Title: Dance the Moon Down
Author: R.L. Bartram
Publisher: Author's Online
Publish Date: November 4, 2011

In 1910, no one believed there would ever be a war with Germany. Safe in her affluent middle-class life, the rumors held no significance for Victoria either. It was her father's decision to enroll her at university that began to change all that. There she befriends the rebellious and outspoken Beryl Whittaker, an emergent suffragette, but it is her love for Gerald Avery, a talented young poet from a neighboring university that sets the seal on her future. After a clandestine romance, they marry in January 1914, but with the outbreak of the First World War, Gerald volunteers but within months has gone missing in France. Convinced that he is still alive, Victoria's initial attempts to discover what has become of him, implicate her in a murderous assault on Lord Kitchener resulting in her being interrogated as a spy, and later tempted to adultery. Now virtually destitute, Victoria is reduced to finding work as a common laborer on a run down farm, where she discovers a world of unimaginable ignorance and poverty. It is only her conviction that Gerald will some day return that sustains her through the dark days of hardship and privation as her life becomes a battle of faith against adversity.

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My thoughts: It has been a while since I've read a historical fiction novel that I adored. This genre is usually a hit or miss with me, fortunately Dance the Moon Down was the formal. It did take me longer than usual to read this book, but that was due to the emotional turmoil I was experiencing when reading this book. It was a very well told love story filled with historical facts that won my heart.

I could not help but admire the heroine of the story, Victoria. She was loyal, courageous, strong but submissive at times, and simply sweet. I was completely dumbfounded how loyal she was to her husband who left to war and disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone around her told her to move on and accept that her husband was dead, but she did not. I don't know what I would have done if I were in her situation. Victoria was simply a very wonderful character.

What I loved best about this book was the historical facts. There are not many books that concentrate on WWI and I am not well acquainted with what this war entailed. I liked how I was able to learn a big part of history yet not feel like it was a history text. This book also concentrated on the women's suffrage movement, which I always enjoy learning about. I really loved how this book was filled with many great quotes concerning about the war and feminism. This book has enriched me more.

Another thing that I liked about this book was how emotional I got when reading it. I was on a roller coaster ride throughout the book. I even had to stop reading after a sad part about a certain character's death. It was too much for me that I took about a week away from the book. This book made me cry, worry, and smile. When a book can do this to me, it becomes a favorite.

Overall, this was a wonderful book. I am very glad to have gotten the chance to read it. I loved the main character, I loved the historical facts, and I loved the story. I rate this:

About the author:

Robert's passion for the history of the early twentieth century is second only to his love of writing and it was whilst researching this period that he came across the diaries and letters of some women who had lived through the trauma of the First World War. What he read in them inspired him to write his debut novel “Dance The Moon Down” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Robert is single and lives and writes in Hertfordshire.

Special thanks to the author, Robert Bartram, for sending me this wonderful book to review.


  1. Hi Vonnie,

    I too have been given this wonderful opportunity, by author Richard Bartram, although as yet I haven't started reading 'Dance The Moon Down'

    Your lovely review just offers a tempting taster of what is in store for me and I now can't wait to start turning the pages.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts,


    1. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I have learned so much about WWI and I was completely captivated with the story along with its characters. I can't wait for your review!