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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Dance The Moon Down’, Featuring New Author Robert Bartram

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week.

Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday, is currently ‘on tour’ and being hosted by a different blogger each month.

Your host for February 2013 is: Audra over at ‘Unabridged Chic’

So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for Audra, after all, we all like to receive them!

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Robert contacted me out of the blue, after spending some time researching the various published posts on Fiction Books, to inquire whether or not I would be interested in reading and discussing my thoughts about his debut novel ‘Dance The Moon Down’. My eclectic reading tastes certainly include historical fiction, especially war time drama, so I was only too pleased to accept this alluring and intriguing storyline, which includes a clandestine romance and the battle of faith against adversity, told from the perspective of those left behind to man Britain’s Home Front, during the horrific privations and terrible tragedies of the First World War. With that mystical and ethereal cover art by Siobhan Smith, who could refuse…

Image of author Robert BartramBorn 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 periodicals, including “Red Letter”, “Secrets” and “People’s Friend”.

Never one to let the necessity of earning a living get in the way of his writing, Robert has continued to write for the best part of his life whilst holding down a succession of jobs including 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 and it was whilst researching this period that he came across the diaries and letters of some women who had lived through the trauma of the First World 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.

Extensive research into this genre led me to conclude that whilst a great deal has been written about the First World War, very little had been done about civilian life, particularly that of women, on Britain’s home front during those times. Whilst being historically accurate, ‘Dance the Moon Down’ remains entirely a work of fiction. However, many of the situations portrayed in the book are based on actual events.


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 enroll her at university that began to change all that. There she befriendes 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 volunteeres but 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.

As this was an author invitation to read and review, a PDF of ‘Dance The Moon Down’ was sent to me free of charge, by its author, R.L. (Robert) Bartram.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much for those kind words, I truly appreciate them.

      I am really looking forward to reading this book. There have been so many books about the women left behind to ‘man the home front’, during the Second World War, however, the First World War has been sadly overlooked and it good to see the balance being redressed somewhat.

      Have a great week.

    • Hi Bluestocking,

      ‘Dance The Moon Down’ is a debut novel by new novelist Robert Bartram. When Robert contacted me, I was immediately intrigued by the premise for the story, so accepting the book for review was an easy choice.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have a good week.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thank you for your vote of confidence, I am blushing and feeling really uncomfortable at the moment!!!

      All of us ‘bloggers’ contribute equally to the successful promotion of an author’s work, each of us writing our unique reviews, in a way that we feel comfortable with and giving our time freely to do so.

      I do appreciate your kind words though and I am really looking forward to reading ‘Dance The Moon Down’, as it sounds as though it has been a real labour of love for its author, Robert Bartram.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      ‘Dance The Moon Down’ is a long way from the top of my reading pile and there are occasions when I have to stop myself from juggling the books around a little, to change the ‘running’ order!

      I am firm with myself however and review books strictly in the order which they were received, just to keep it fair to all the authors and publishers.

      Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always welcome and I hope that you have a great week.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Yes, it does, doesn’t it?

      I think that Robert has carried out quite a lot of research , in order to make the factual elements of the books as authentic as possible and has then woven a very intriguing romance around these facts, to draw the reader into the psyche of a First World War woman, struggling to keep things together at home, in the days when women still very much relied on the man of the family to make all the decisions.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, I always appreciate it.

  • Hi Yvonne, Dance The Moon Down sounds like a good historical and I look forward to your review. The author has good taste in choosing book reviewers 🙂 Happy Monday.

    • Hi Naida,

      That’s enough with all the nice comments guys …. I really appreciate them all, but they are totally undeserved, when you take a look around at some of the great blogs and bloggers out there, including yourself!

      I quite enjoy a good historical story and all the more when there is a forbidden romance involved!

      In his initial contact, the author, Robert Bartram, said that the title of the book was pivotal in the storyline, so I am intrigued to know just how ‘Dance The Moon Down’ fits into the premise …

      Thanks for stopping by. As always I really appreciate your time and the comments which you put so much thought into.

      Have a great week.

    • Hi Mystica,

      I always like it when a new author comes on the scene.

      Finding out about them is so interesting and it is good to be able to share my finds with other bloggers out there.

      Sometimes I am aware that my posts may be a little long and possibly rambling, however, I hope not too much so!!

      Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging comments, I hope that your week is going well so far.

    • Hi Holly,

      Yes, this is a debut book, by a new author, although I have seen it appear in a few other mailboxes this week, so watch out for all the great reviews which are sure to follow soon.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, I always appreciate it.

Written by Yvonne