Book of the month: The Ballroom

Eithne Farry checks out the second offering from 'Wake' writer Anna Hope


Book of the month: The Ballroom

Anna Hope’s tender second novel steps inside the boundaries of a mental asylum on the edge of the Yorkshire moor, and follows the lives of a clutch of patients and staff over a hot summer in 1911.

There’s Dr Charles Fuller, a young doctor with a fondness for music and a worrying interest in eugenics; independent, passionate, working-class Ella; Clem, from a well-to-do family with a love of books and a disregard for authority; and John, a soulful Irish man with a troubled past but a poetic way with words.

Hope is the emotion that unspools the delicate connections between these brilliantly drawn characters and reveals how love and friendship can transform the most grievous situations and circumstances.

The Ballroom by Anna Hope (Doubleday, £12.99) is out now

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