The Ballroom by Anna Hope. Recommended by Sarah (Bury Library customer).
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 both vast and beautiful. For one bright evening every week they come together and dance. And, when John and Ella meet, it is a dance that will change two lives forever.
“I was really moved by The Ballroom and gripped by the story which is told from the perspective of three characters, each with a very different experience of life in a mental asylum at the turn of the 20th Century. There is sadness, humour and enlightenment throughout the story which is, at its heart, about compassion and love. This book shows how far we have come today in our understanding of what mental illness is, how it manifests itself and how individuals deal with it and indeed are treated. The characters in the book endure great hardships and the way that they deal with them and their determination to overcome them is really compelling.” Sarah.