The Ballroom

The Ballroom

3.8 (4,283 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Absolutely heart-breaking. One of the best books I've ever read' DINAH JEFFERIES, author of The Tea-Planter's Wife

1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful. For one bright evening every week they come together and dance. When John and Ella meet it is a dance that will change two lives forever.

Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, THE BALLROOM is a historical love story. It tells a page-turning tale of dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.


'Compelling, elegant and insightful' Observer

'Beautifully wrought, tender, heartbreaking' Sunday Express 5/5

'Moving, fascinating' Times

'A tender and absorbing love story' Daily Mail

'Unsentimental and affecting' Sunday Times

'Exquisitely good' Metro
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 22mm | 241g
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552779474
  • 9780552779470
  • 68,196

Review Text

"A heartbreaking story of how love can flourish in the darkest of times"
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Review quote

"Absolutely heart-breaking. One of the best books I've ever read" * Dinah Jefferies, author of THE TEA-PLANTER'S WIFE * "A British version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Moving. Fascinating" * Times * "An unsentimental and affecting story" * Sunday Times * "Compelling, elegant and insightful." * Observer * "In this deeply moving book, Hope reminds us that behind everyone's facade lies something waiting to be rent free" * Irish Times * "An original, brilliant, evocative novel" * Chris Cleave * "A heartbreaking story of how love can flourish in the darkest of times" * Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Bookseller * "Part social commentary, part mystery and part dangerous liaison, this poignant story casts an unflinching gaze at the historic treatment of mental health disorders." * Financial Times * "Such a magnificent setting definitely demands a story that delivers, all guns blazing. It does, and then some . . . Fiction at it's finest." * Irish Independent * "Beautiful" * Stylist * "An exquisite love story" * Good Housekeeping * "A terrifying, moving and uplifting story" -- February Hot Read * Woman and Home * "A poignant against-the-odds love story" * Glamour * "Tender . . . Hope is the emotion that unspools the delicate connections between these brilliantly drawn characters" * Psychologies Magazine * "The Ballroom is a beautifully wrought novel, a tender, heartbreaking and insightful exploration of the longings that survive in the most inhospitable environments." * Sunday Express 5/5 stars * "Magnificent...a luminary of historical fiction...writing history from the margins, the personal stories behind the era, she delivers profound, poignant stories that stir the emotions." * Press Association * "All the intensity and lyricism of Hope's debut, Wake" * Daily Mail * "The Ballroom confirms her as a novelist of immense power...Exquisitely good. Sensitive, engrossing and highly recommended" * Metro * "The Ballroom is a beautiful, gripping, heart-wrenching, thought-provoking book. I was so enthralled, I read it in an evening, unwilling to put it down." * * "An atmospheric and thought provoking love story" * *
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About Anna Hope

ANNA HOPE studied at Oxford University and RADA. She is the acclaimed author of Wake and The Ballroom. Her contemporary fiction debut, Expectation, explores themes of love, lust, motherhood, and feminism, while asking the greater question of what defines a generation. She lives in Sussex with her husband and young daughter.
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Rating details

4,283 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1,086)
4 41% (1,764)
3 25% (1,062)
2 6% (274)
1 2% (97)
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