Dance The Moon Down

Dance The Moon Down

by R. L. Bartram


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In 1910, no one believed there would ever be a war with Germany. Safe in her affluent middle-class life, the rumours 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 befriendes the rebellious and outspoken Beryl Whittaker, an emergent suffragette, but it is her love for Gerald Avery, a talented young poet from a neighbouring 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 volunteeres 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 labourer 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 sustaines her through the dark days of hardship and privation as her life becomes a battle of faith against adversity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780755206827
Publisher: Legend Press Ltd
Publication date: 11/04/2011
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

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Dance the Moon Down 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
ReesesSH More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of Dance the Moon Down in exchange for an honest review. I had a truly difficult time getting through this book and I’m not sure why. The characters were alright; although there was a bit of a language barrier. At times I couldn’t truly grasp what was going on and that was bothersome since that’s kind of the point when you read. Anyway as the synopsis explains this couple starts off at the beginning of the book talking to some college students and then it does a flashback to how they had reached that point. The husband was a soldier and went missing for years and so the wife struggled to support herself. In the end they have a happy ending. As far as I can tell that’s what happened although I wouldn’t bet my blog on it. I tried going back and rereading a couple times but I really just couldn’t get into it. I did finally get the gist the last couple chapters when the husband was released or escaped a camp of some sort. Would I recommend this book? No not really. I had no pull to this book and it was difficult picking it up. I honestly think the writing style just wasn’t for me.
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
I received this book to give an honest review. I am not a huge fan of historical books it normally takes me a while to actually get into them and sometimes I get bored. But with this one I just drove right into the story and found myself captured into the life of Victoria. Now at the beginning you get a list of characters which you can refer to if you get confused, but I found myself not even needing to go back and look because there was no confusion.  This author really pulled me into the world of a wife who truly missed her husband and believed with all her heart that he was still alive. I liked how he was able to create Victoria and wrote her to be a strong-willed, and independent woman when she needed to be.  World War One was hard on everyone especially back in the days where you had to wait to get word if your loved one was dead or missing and it is very difficult. And the author was able to accurately write a story that showed what people went through during this terrible time. Not only that he wrote the women in the story in a great way that it didn't make them seem weak, it made them seem strong especially when they came together.  I want to write so much more on this review but I feel as though I would be giving away so much. 
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: Yes. Mr. Bartram takes a period in history that’s been written about quite a bit and investigates it from a different angle. The book is primarily told from the point of view of a young, newlywed whose husband volunteers to serve in the British military during World War I. The novel starts just before the war so we get a glimpse of life both before, during, and after a huge historical shift; not only among nations, but also in attitudes and opportunities. I was surprised to see how similar the beliefs, expectations, and perspectives in Britain mirrored those we have here in the U.S. All this time, I thought we were original – hmm, guess not. I enjoyed the writing style and felt the book moved along nicely. The only element that didn’t work for me was the narrator’s point of view. I’m a very linear thinker. Nothing would make me happier than to see the entire globe organized in outlines and bulleted lists. Ah, my heart skips a beat just thinking about it. This author floated between character’s thoughts and emotions in a way that distracted me. I like to be in one character’s head at a time. Otherwise, I feel shaken out of the flow of the story. Would I recommend it: Yes. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
TipsyLit More than 1 year ago
Let me start off with the shortest summary ever so you can get grounded: It’s 1910 in England. Victoria decides to go to University and expand her education despite popular resistance against it. She falls in love. WW1 breaks out, her husband goes to war, and after a few letters, she promptly loses all contact with him. Is he alive? It’s the pervading question. She’s stuck in the English countryside with no parents, no husband, and no income. Enter the rise of the strong, independent female here. First of all, Victoria was the best part of this book, hands down. I loved Victoria. I mourned losing her as a friend at the end of the book. The second best thing about Dance the Moon Down was the setting. Bartram does an exquisite job with the time and place. We’re in downtown London during the war. We’re meeting suffragettes fighting for the vote. We’re on a farm in the English countryside with buxom farm women who only know hard labor. His characters progress, are varied, and remain strong. He’s also got a solid third person writing style that never gets passive or dull. Like a walk on a summers day, it just feels good. What I really appreciated about his story was the women’s issues he brought to light from a historical context. Suffragettes who give their life. Women who picked up ‘mens’ jobs when they went off to war and excelled at them. It was a glimpse into a different time that acted as a building block for ours. Kind of like living, for a brief moment, amongst those who act as the shoulders we stand on today. THAT is what makes this book different. One of the best things Bartram had going for him was the overarching plot. He had me dying to read to the end. I just have to know! There was a forward momentum about this book that I envied, and think is hard to find in writing. My only quip, which is minimal at best, is in regards to a few chapter endings. Bartram leads off with a few little mini questions or ‘cliff hangers’ meant to propel the reader forward. While not bad, I found them entirely unnecessary as I was so vested in the story that I was moving forward with a jet pack. My first order of business after finishing this book was to email the author and ask when his next book would be released.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Rebecca Carrico for Readers' Favorite Dance The Moon Down begins in the spring of 1914. Victoria's parents are deciding whether or not to continue her education by sending her to college. They could not know that their decision would change her life forever. At college she makes many friends and rooms with a girl named Beryl Whittaker. Beryl is involved with the newly formed woman's right movements and tries to get Victoria involved too. Victoria also meets the famous English poet, Gerald Alvey, who she falls passionately in love with. After college,in 1914, they are married. A few months after their marriage England is at war with with Germany. Thinking it will only last a little while, Gerald enlists. He writes her letters everyday until one day the letters stop. She goes to the War Department, in London, to see if they have any news of him. She finds out he is listed as missing in France. She continues on with her life but eventually runs out of money. She has never worked before but realizes she must get a job. Since she has a college degree she thinks it should be easy to find work . She tries everywhere but no one will hire her. Finally she tried a neighboring farm and is hired on a trial basis since she has never done manual labor. She meets three women working there who help her and she helps them in other ways. She still believes her husband is alive and has not given up hope that he will come home to her. But will he?  Dance Down The Moon is a wonderful book. I love the time period of the early 1900's. The characters are fully drawn . I could hardly put this book down and did not want it to end.
MissBethBC More than 1 year ago
This historical romance came as a surprise to me.   Our main character, Victoria, is of the upper class and it took me awhile to warm up to her.  I admired her silence and reverence when she supported her husband's patriotism and entrance into the British Militia. and I could empathize with her.   However when he went missing, I was not very forgiving of the relationship that developed between her and the officer assigned to look into Gerald's whereabouts for her.    But when she took up a position as a labourer on a run down farm, I gained an altogether new appreciation for her and the respect and kindness she offered to her coworkers.  And I loved that she never gave up believing Gerald was still alive! Bartram did an excellent job of bringing his characters to life..   They were so real with high ideals and dreams and flaws we all must overcome.   He possessed a realistic depiction of the lands ravaged by war, and of the people's fears as the war went on and on.  It was very interesting to note that women were considered subservient and had very few rights, although with the raging of the war, the political stage was ripe for change in that respect. I seriously enjoyed reading about the first World War from an English woman's perspective.    I admired Victoria's common sense and her tenacity which almost got her in trouble a time or two.   And I liked that although the war front was indeed devastating, the workers on the farm had opportunities for light hearted activities such as feeding an old work horse apples or taking a dip in a creek to cool off--naked! Bartram's style flows smoothly, his story well told and his characters very well developed.    A very different but enjoyable read!
LillyBookReads More than 1 year ago
The Characters/Summaries: Let's just say I really didn't expect the romance to be that good. The beginning was a bit slow. With the no marriage thing. And the whole eloping. Or secretly getting married. Hmmm. Pretty interesting. But then came the war. The  recruiting. The having to go to war. Loosing her husband. And maybe he'll never come back. The romance. The adventures. ALL that pulled me in. I read till the end.  Really. I really didn't expect that. Victoria - Victoria proved to be a strong-willed, brave girl. And independent. And she can live well on her own. And as we all know from history, there isn't much independence woman can have back then. Reading this book had also taught me some history and it was actually, in fact, really fun to read. Even after loosing her husband, she tried to find work. She cried, but continued to stay strong and to live. I appreciate her for that. And really, there are many other ways she could have taken. Even though she did try for another escape, I'm glad that she found people in life she can look up to and trust. And for that, she can continue to live. Historical fiction books are exactly what they are. Despite their made up story,  they always teach some lesson in life. Unlike the dystopian and science fiction ones. Those are pure imaginations. Even though it's really fun and exciting to read about the future and romance, it's always good once in a while to get a lesson. One huge lesson that always stands true. "Expect the unexpected" You think the world is ending? Think again. There are so many mysteries in this world that one cannot solve. What makes you think you can tell the future. The future maybe grim, but there's always sunlight. The sky maybe cloudy, or in day or another, sunlight will always beam through it. This lesson was definitely shown in this book, and I must say Victoria must be super happy she didn't choose the route that entitled to death. Final Thoughts: I'm sorry I made this short, but I felt like I talked a lot. LOL. And that totally felt  like a book report I'm writing for school. Although I didn't mention that much  about the book, I must say, go read it. It might teach a significant lesson that you never thought you have to learn. Maybe you'll see the book in a different way than me. Who knows. This book kind of reminds me of Esperanza Rising. The lesson. The pain. And the results. Even though I read Esperanza like 3 times just for school. It never gets old. Because every time, we discover lessons we missed last time.  Maybe it shall be the same for Dance the Moon Down. And also the setting. The farm. It turns out a farm can definitely give lots and lots and lots of lessons. Good ones. And a little unlike Esperanza Rising, Dance the Moon Down is more focused on the romance. And it was a much shorter read. A desperation for the end and happy ending. Esperanza Rising has loops and twists that makes your  feelings go on a roller coaster ride.  So if you'd like a quick, short, historical read, why don't you try Dance the Moon Down?
Tina_Chan More than 1 year ago
Rating:  4.5 stars Title: Dance the Moon down ¿Author: R. L. Bartram Genre: historical fiction Review: I enjoyed this book far more than I expected, which is always a wonderful surprise. I guess I kind of expected an average read if I was to judge the book by book description on Goodreads. I mean, the plot sounded nice, but not overly interesting. Well. I was blown away by how well the book was written. I finished this book in one day (something that normally doesn't happen unless I really am enjoying a book. usually takes me 2 days to finish a standard novel length work.) I've read a fair amount of World War books, both fiction and nonfiction (though I tend to lean towards the fiction end of the spectrum.)  But I have never read  a book about World War I or II that describes how life was like for the people--especially the women--that have  their lives flipped upside down once the army enlisted all able bodied men. The plot was nice, though not mind blowing. It follows the tale of Victoria, the main character, and her struggle in faith as war took her  husband away from her. She lost contact with her husband but refused to believe him to be dead. This novel tells her journey of searching for her husband and trying to survive in a world where change is in the air. There was some romance in this book as well. Normally, I am not a huge fan of insta-love, but somehow Bartram made it work. I totally loved it and totally bought it. The romance was believable, thanks to the characters and settings he masterfully created. Okay, now here comes the good part: the characters. Dance the Moon Down has some of the best built characters I have ever read  about. You meet a whole a huge array of characters, each of them unique in their own way. There's Gerald, Victoria's true love. You  don't see much of him in the middle of the book but from what I have read about him, I picture him as a gentleman poet. There's Beryl,  Victoria's somewhat hot headed friend who is fighting for women's rights. There's Jen, a woman Victoria worked with on a farm who although at first seems cold, is actually a kind hearted soul once you get past her barriers. There's Maisie, a young teen just trying to  survive.  There's Allen, a charming soldier who tries to help Victoria find Gerald and may like her more than Victoria wants to admit. And of course there's Victoria: smart, loyal, hard working and utterly lovable. Victoria....gosh, I could rant about her for quite a while...I don't see how anyone can not like her! She went to university, which was pretty  unusual for women of that time period. She's nice, can make her own choices and her loyalty towards Gerald astounds me. I grew very  attached to Victoria. She's definitely one of my favorite characters of all time, right up with Hermione.  Likes:     *tells the back story of WW II     *amazing characters     *easy enough to follow along the plot Dislikes:     *gosh...I dunno....I mean I would absolutely LOVE it if the novel included some snippets told from Gerald's POV
RabidReaderReviews More than 1 year ago
Victoria starts out an immature young woman who isn’t sure where she wants to go in life. When she meets Gerald all that changes. Victoria grows immeasurably over the course of the novel but in a realistic sense. WWI is not the slap in the face that changes her completely. She still, as people do, has some of the less attractive qualities we witness early on in the novel but as life changes so does she very gradually.   The historical detail in “Dance the Moon Down” is stunning. I can see high school students experiencing this novel as required reading. Much is written about the war experience but there’s not much out there about those left behind during the Great War. To include the suffrage movement through the fabulous character of Beryl Whittacker made for an even more interesting plot-line. Beryl speaks loudly the opinion of feminists now as well as then. She says at one point in the novel that marriage is a fine option for women but should not be the only option. War heightens the need for a cooperative home front and aids the cause of equality but is it an equality that lasts? While Beryl felt betrayed by Victoria defection to marriage, the author formed a bond between the women that served them both in the progression of the story-line and the reader in the social experience of the time. While it must be tempting for authors to write feminists as hater of love and romance, Bartram balances Beryl’s hard edge with a sweet and soft love of her own.  “Dance the Moon Down” is a lovely story of a very harsh time. I recommend it for fans of the stories of the times that try us. Bartram’s story runs the breadth of the human experience and is one that should not be missed.
VonnieR More than 1 year ago
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.
mysterybook_nerd98 More than 1 year ago
Dance the Moon Down tells the story of WWI from the perspective of the loved ones left behind. Victoria and Gerald were married only a few months before war broke out. From there we see how Victoria grows from an immature young woman into a strong, loyal wife that will not give up hope. She grew into a person that would not give up hope and did what she needed in order to survive. I would have liked to have seen Gerald a little more developed- but it was Victoria's story. The other supporting characters were well developed. The author painted a vivid picture of war-time England and other historical events such as the suffrage movement. I found the book to be well written and the plot flowed nicely. Even though it was 300 pages I read it in a short time. * I was provided a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
itsJUSTme-wendy More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Historical Fiction! Every once in a while there will be books that I will get very excited to write a review about. This is one of those books! Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres anyway, but I really love one that is written so well. I also really like books that I can learn something from, something that I can take away from it. This story has a lot of historical facts, interesting ones that I will remember. This story is mainly about one woman during WW1. I had never read a book that took place in England during the war! So this was a nice first for me. I am not normally interested in books about the wars, but I am very interested in what happens to the people left behind. And this was an excellent account of how the war affected the people and families left behind to pick up the pieces and try to continue their lives regardless of what was happening around them! This book had excellent character development! As you may have noticed, I do not read many books written by men. This is because men, normally (to me), do not know how to create a good and believable female character. I don't know how this author did it, but he did it, and perfectly too! I really loved Victoria, the main character. She was nice, but feisty enough, strong and yet submissive enough for the times, and had a very cute and sweet personality. I also loved her friend Beryl who was involved in the women's suffrage movement, yay! Go Beryl! And I also loved the women at the farm where Victoria ended up working at. I am so glad that the author also let you into their lives. Everyone was so unique and interesting. Here's a quote I liked - "Does that mean you're against marriage?" Victoria asked, wondering if Beryl's drastic measures extended that far. "You're missing the point," Beryl replied patiently. "I'm not against marriage as an institution. I'm against it being offered to women as their only option in life." ~ this is probably my favorite quote in the whole book! This book not only takes you through the war from a woman's point of view it also follows the suffrage movement in England, which was very interesting to me! If you love historical fiction, if you love books about the history of England, and if you love books about strong female characters - this would be a great book for you!