Monday, August 5, 2013

Dance The Moon Down by R.L. Bartram


"Dance The Moon Down", is R.L. Bartram's debut novel. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I received this novel for review from Mr. Bartram. This was an unknown author and novel for me. All I knew was that it sounded interesting. After all, I love history and this book is based around the time of WWI. It begins in the year of 1910. 

We meet Victoria at a sweet and tender age when everything is curious. She is at the age when she discovering herself and all that is possible in life. During this age in history women in England were pretty much hushed. They weren't allowed many assurances we take for granted today.

This novel is written from the perspective of an young, English girl at a time where no one thought war was possible. War with Germany sounded so far fetched, but it became the reality for so many young people just beginning to live.

Victoria is a young woman who is determined to explore all that life holds. If it were her mother's wish, Victoria would remain at home, under sharp watch. Victoria talks her parents into allowing her to attend school. This is something almost unheard of during this time. She attends school and crosses paths with people who forever change her life.

One such person who impacted her life was her friend and roommate Beryl. A young woman on the front lines of the suffrage movement. Beryl and Victoria didn't always see eye to eye, but over time they learned from one another and respected each other in their differences. This made for a rich friendship.

Victoria meets a young man, Gerald, who captures her heart with his poetry. This would never be a respectful job that would meet her parents approval. So young and determined, they marry without Victoria's parents approval.

Soon the war calls to Gerald and we find Victoria learning to live on her own. We get to journey with her through the countryside of England to a farm where she finds employment. It is here that she meets three friends that help guide her to be a woman steadfast and sure of herself in a world that is full of chaos.

It may seem like I'm giving away every detail of this extraordinary novel. I assure you there is much more to this wondrous story. The more I read the more I loved. This is a novel set in a historic time during the war and we get a glimpse of life beyond the front lines. We see those women who are carrying on as their husbands fight against the torment of Germany. For me, as an American woman, I learned much about what it must have been like for those in England during this time.

We see not only how war touches lives, but how life must go on. We see a rich faith in Victoria. We get to see her grow into womanhood with a courageous spirit and a humble heart. Her journey is one that I will not soon forget.

History, romance and faith. What a splendid combination that stirs the heart and sets us to see that there is much more to life than what is ever expected. Victoria went through so much at such a young age. By the age of twenty-four she had witnessed great tragedy with victorious faith. Yes, we see her shaken. She stumbles as she doesn't think she can go on, but by the grace of God, He places people in her path that help guide her to a life well lived.

I encourage you to check out this amazing novel. It is one I would not have heard of if R.L. Bartram had not contacted me. I am thrilled that I get to add this book to my list of favorites and share it with you. From the first page until the last, I enjoyed this journey. I just know you will too!! 

This book, "Dance The Moon Down", was a gift from R.L. Bartram for sharing my review. 

R.L. Bartram Born in Edmonton, London, in 1951 Robert spent several of his formative years living in Cornwall where he began to develop a life long love of nature and the rural way of life. He began writing in his early teens and much of his short romantic fiction was subsequently published in various periodicals including "Secrets", "Red Letter" and "The People's Friend". Never one to let the necessity of making a living get in the way of his writing, Robert has continued to write for most of his life whilst holding down a succession of jobs which have included Health Food Shop Manager, Typewriter Mechanic and Taxidermist - yes, you read that correctly!! His passion for the history of the early twentieth century is second only to his love of writing. It was whilst researching for another project that he came across the  personal letters and diaries of some women who had lived through the trauma of the Great 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.
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