Dance The Moon Down by R L Bartram is published by Authors Online.
The story is set during the First World War, the war that was supposed to end all wars. In 1910, Victoria's parents debate whether to let her go to University. Her Father, a scholar is keen for her to go, her Mother, more conservative believes that she does not need to further her education. Her Father wins and Victoria goes off to study. It is whilst she is at University that she meets Gerald and falls in love.
Despite initial opposition from her Mother, they get married and move out to the country, enjoying life and each other. Until War breaks out and Gerald goes off to fight. Within six months Gerald has disappeared, his letters stop arriving, yet nobody in authority seems to have any news of his whereabouts. Victoria is devastated and determined that she will find him, she knows that Gerald is not dead.
As Victoria's money dwindles away, and she wants to stay where Gerald will find her when he returns, she is forced to take a job as a labourer on a nearby farm. It is on this farm that Victoria encounters the other side of life. The poverty, the uneducated, the pure hard work, it is also the place that she discovers great friends and more and more about herself.
The most obvious thing that shines through this story is the author's passion for the era. He has done extensive research into the lives of civilians left behind to keep Britain going through the very tough years of the First World War. Dance The Moon Down is not just Victoria's story, it is not just the story of an emerging love affair, it is the story of ordinary everyday people who pulled together for the war effort. The women of Britain who were left behind to keep the home fires burning were thrust into a life that was totally alien to them; working long hours on the land, coping with families on their own, beginning to wear trousers and to smoke in public. This was a time of great change which has been captured expertly by the author.
I was very impressed by this novel, the plot line is interesting with some fabulously painted characters and the historical detail is stunning.
My thanks go to R L Bartram for providing me with a copy for review.