Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dance the Moon Down - Feature

Dance the Moon Down by R.L. Bartram

First off here's the blurb:
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 enrol 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 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 volunteers and 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 sustains her through the dark days of hardship and privation as her life becomes a battle of faith against adversity.

Now it's no secret that I love a good World War 1 setting and when I saw that this book was inspired by journals and letters from the era I was intrigued.  When Robert Bartram contacted me about reading an excerpt I decided to give it a try.  I've found that sometimes historical fiction can read as too heavy and too emotionally wrought.  Given the heaviness of the topic that was definitely concern going into this.

With the first chapter and a teaser excerpt I found that wasn't the case.  While this isn't light and funny Victoria is a survivor and she's a fighter.  Bartram makes her become fully fleshed out within just a few pages.  Her reactions to some questioning felt genuine.  I only have one complaint - I didn't get to find out what happened next!

If you have an interest in historical fiction this is definitely one to look for.  I know I for one will be looking forward to finding out what happens between Victoria, Gerald and Lieutenant Fairchild.

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 national 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 in this period that he came across the 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.


  1. This does sound interesting. Victoria sounds like a very strong woman. I will have to look for this one.

  2. Do you have comment moderation. I am not seeing and apologize if I am commenting over and over.

    1. No I think blogger gets temperamental sometimes!

  3. I hadn't heard of this one before, but it does sound good. I especially like historical fiction that is inspired by real events/documents. It just makes it more intriguing!

    1. I definitely agree that I love when personal papers are the source material!