Bleakly Hall

Monty and Ada are old friends They worked together on the frontline in Belgium, where Monty was a nurse and Ada drove ambulances like the devil And now, Bleakly Hall hydropathic has brought them together again.Monty has just arrived to look after the gouty residents there to take the Hall s curative waters via nozzle, douche and jet and Ada is the maid and driver.Monty and Ada are old friends They worked together on the frontline in Belgium, where Monty was a nurse and Ada drove ambulances like the devil And now, Bleakly Hall hydropathic has brought them together again.Monty has just arrived to look after the gouty residents there to take the Hall s curative waters via nozzle, douche and jet and Ada is the maid and driver For all those at Bleakly, the end of the Great War has brought changes Not all of them good.Monty has a score to settle with the elusive Captain Foxley Ada misses her wartime sense of purpose the Blackwood brothers must reinvigorate Bleakly for a new era Foxley has his own particular ways of keeping his ghosts at bay But with the crumbling, rumbling hydropathic threatening to blow its top, what will become of the folk thrown together in its bilious embrace This wonderfully original novel brings together an irresistible cast of characters including Bleakly Hall itself in the wake of one of history s great tragedies To powerful effect, it combines fizzing comedy with a deeply moving look at the aftermath of war.
Bleakly Hall Monty and Ada are old friends They worked together on the frontline in Belgium where Monty was a nurse and Ada drove ambulances like the devil And now Bleakly Hall hydropathic has brought them toget

  • Title: Bleakly Hall
  • Author: Elaine di Rollo
  • ISBN: 9780701181796
  • Page: 406
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Bleakly Hall”

    1. Bleakly Hall has seen better days. It is a hydrotherapy hotel and its clientele is much like the building: dilapidated. Roberta Montgomery and Ada worked together on the battlefields in WWI. Ada gets Monty a nursing job at Bleakly Hall and it is here that the story picks up. Monty is interested in one of the hotel's guests: Captain Foxley. He is elusive and abrasive, but Monty knows that he knew a friend of hers Sophie. And Monty means to remind him of just how misguided his actions were in rega [...]

    2. This is the best book I've read in 2011. I wish I hadn't read it so that I could go back and read it for the first time.The story jumps between a crumbling, post-war hydropathic and the trenches of WW2, and both settings seemed so real I could taste them. In a few years, if someone says to me "hey, have you ever visited a crumbling, post-war hydropathic?" (because that's the sort of thing that my friends would say), then I'll genuinely believe that I have – the book is that vivid. The characte [...]

    3. Book of the Week on my blog verityreadsbooks.wordpressA really readable look at the effect that the First World War had - featuring a disputer group of people gathered at a hydropathic spa. All have been changed forever by the war - but in different ways. Some are damaged physically, almost all are damaged mentally. Some miss it. Some wish life could go back to the way it was - others find that the world hasn't changed enough. Funny in some places, black horror in others, thought provoking but n [...]

    4. What an odd book. The novel has three strands. One is after the war, when Monty is working at Bleakly Hall. The second relates Monty's experiences during the war. The third tells the story of her beloved friend Sophia. The first strand, after the war, never convinced me. The description of Bleakly Hall and its characters was cartoonish. I think it was meant to be "darkly comic" but I didn't find anything about it funny. I did enjoy the second strand, about Monty's wartime adventures, because the [...]

    5. I read this as the fourth book in the Readers Summer Book Club list. Of the books on the list, this was one that I wasn't overly keen on or excited by, on reading the blurb on the cover. The quote from The Scotsman read "lightly carbonated comedy" (whatever the hell that means!) - the TES Literary Supplement referred to it as "A bold comic creation". With my track record of finding books labelled as 'comedy' and 'hilarious', anything but, I wasn't really looking forward to this book. But I enjoy [...]

    6. While I am not usually a fan of any historical fiction books involving war, this book is the exception. Elaine di Rollo creates characters that are flawed yet realistic. She starts off introducing the characters in a way that they are interesting and mysterious, and it keeps you hooked until you learn more about them. Then as soon as you start to understand one aspect of a character, she reveals just enough about another aspect of that character to keep you reading even longer. The revealing of [...]

    7. Bleakly Hall by Elaine di Rollo is an excellent novel that uses characters that seem both real and relatable to tell the story of several World War I survivors that are struggling to comes to terms with the past and what remains of their lives in the present. The internal guilt and grudge in the loyal and rational Monty, the elusiveness and ravaged sanity of the both brave and cowardly Foxley, the naiveity and innocence of Sophia, and the struggle of the Blackwood brothers to deal with their bus [...]

    8. Bleakly Hall is in no way a bleak read. Di Rollo crafts a fascinating work that, like any well-written historical fiction, effortlessly combines fact and fiction. The premise of the novel focuses on a post-WWI depleted hydropathic and the lives of its inhabitants and staff. Bleakly Hall itself adds an interesting element to the story, bringing a sense of a twisted whimsy to an otherwise dismal topic. The novel focuses on Monty, an ex-WWI nurse who finds herself at Bleakly Hall searching for a w [...]

    9. This historical fiction by Elaine di Rollo proved to be both insightful and intriguing. It perfectly blended fact and fiction as we travel through time (WWI to a post WWI era) with the main character Monty. Monty served as a nurse during the war, and through her first hand accounts we are enlightened about the hardships of war, and the horrific effects that remain long after. This can be seen as the characters in the novel deal with the post war effects (PTSD, flashbacks, amputations, etc.) One [...]

    10. Di Rollo's, Bleakly Hall, uses a style of writing that combines fact with fiction. This sort of writing style is better known as historical fiction. The use of real relateable stories make for easy relateation to the characters. The main character of the novel is a loyal and hardworking nurse who struggles internally with guilt and grudge. While dealing with her own internal problems she is faced with the innocent Sophia's problems and an arguably insane Captain Foxly. Also she deals with the Bl [...]

    11. It has taken me a long time to read this book, but that is because life kept intervening, and I had things to do like book reviews and proofreading to deadlines, so my reading got interrupted.Bleakly Hall is a tale of the physical and psychological damage done to people by the First World War, and in this centenary year when people want to celebrate the courage of the combatants and their nursing staff, it is a salutary read. The book centres around the relationships that Roberta Montgomery (Mon [...]

    12. Bleakly Hall, written by Elaine di Rollo, is an interesting read that tells the story of a former World War I nurse Roberta Montgomery, referred to as Monty throughout the book. Monty begins work at Bleakly Hall, which is a hydropathic therapy center center that draws in WWI veterans because of its claim to have curative water. While at Bleakly, Monty meets a variety of World War I veterans each with their own war stories and after effects from the war. She is also reunited with a fellow WWI nur [...]

    13. Bleakly Hall is an odd mix of farce and tragedy. Brothers Curran and Grier Blackwood run a hydropathic hospital after WWI and many of the characters that work or live at the hospital are veterans of the war including Monty, who is the newest member of staff. But she has come with another reason - to find Captain Foxley. This is a story about atonement, the impact of war on those who lived through it and the lack of impact for those who did not. The veterans are surrounded by those too old or too [...]

    14. Bleakly Hall is a book about transition from wartime back to civilian life. Elaine di Rollo depicts very vivid images of the characters past and present struggles. The main character Monty takes a new job as a nurse at Bleakly Hall and is thrown back into people from her past. Though Monty has her head on straight, she is haunted by memories of the loss of her best friend Sophia. Other characters, such as Captain Foxley, never got over their past and suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndr [...]

    15. I just couldn't get into this book. I went into this book expecting more but instead was disappointed. The characters never felt fully developed and the story, although promising from the first few chapters, went into a completely different direction from what I expected and I never regained interest. I do read a lot of non-fiction war accounts so this may have effected my experience of the fictionalized war accounts in this book. (view spoiler)[ the desperation of the character Sophie really bu [...]

    16. This was a very bipolar book. Parts of it bored me to tears, while other scenes were compelling and even a little touching. The characters had a similar dichtomy, if on a smaller scale, with some being poorly written and seemingly without any purpose other than to annoy the main characters. Maybe it's just me, but I think any quality fictional character should be at least two dimensional and possess some mix of redeeming and damning qualities. I'm really only speaking of a couple of characters, [...]

    17. Bleakly Hall tells the story of a run-down hospital in the aftermath of World War I. The main character Roberta Montgomery, better known as Monty, is a former World War I nurse who goes to work at Bleakly Hall. There, she is reunited with Ada, a fellow World War I nurse who drove ambulances for the hospital she and Monty worked at. While at Bleakly Hall, Monty encounters a variety of men who fought in the war, from psychotic Captain Foxley to traditional Curran Blackwood to fearful Grier Blackwo [...]

    18. Bleakly Hall is an account of the after math of World War 1. WWI has had a large impact on Monty. The ending of the war has led her to Bleakly Hall to work as a nurse for the WWI victims who come there to receive water treatment. Monty has not seen her friend Ada, who also works at Bleakly, since they were at the front-lines of war. However, things did not go back to normal between the two as quickly as Monty would have expected. Bleakly Hall seems to be a breeding ground for secrets and stories [...]

    19. I have certain expectations of books published by Vintage (Random House's "decent literature" arm) and this fell well short.I tried; I gave it a good shot (up to p.75) and I didn't want to give up. I haven't given up on a book since Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a year ago, and although Bleakly Hall is pretty bad it's not as god-awful as Extremely Loud, and it's a shame to give it the same star rating as such trite and vapid drivel.But it is pretty bad. It's dull, the characters are unenga [...]

    20. I would give Bleakly Hall 3.5 stars if I could. I thought as a whole, it was an ambitious tragic-comic novel, that didn’t quite realize its potential. It is packed with eccentric characters, but they aren’t all as fleshed out as I would have liked. However, when it is good, it is very good. I found the flashback portions of the book to be especially compelling. The story takes place a few years after WWI at a neglected hotel spa in the English countryside that caters to aging hypochondriacs. [...]

    21. Bleakly Hall was not at all what I expected. It started out a little slow and confusing, but the novel ended up being very intriguing and exciting. We travel through the war era with Monty, who was a nurse during the war. She tells of the hardships of war and how she was affected before and after. The characters staying at Bleakly Hall show the aftereffects of war from PTSD, terrible flashbacks, and medical issues. Captain Foxley, a captain in the war who is staying at Bleakly, has PTSD and caus [...]

    22. Bleakly Hall was an outstanding look at the struggles and effect of war on the both the people fighting in it, those helping on the front lines, and civilian effects. IT shows the emotional damage and guilt of loosing a friend, the bravery of two women working in a man’s world, and the psychological trauma of fighting. A seemingly appropriate phrase is for Bleakly Hall would be “a wet place to wait to die”. The novel was a quick and fun read. Perhaps one of my favorite parts was the intera [...]

    23. I'm a bit torn over Bleakly Hall. The main characters, Foxley, Monty, Grier, Curran, Sophia & Ada were very well done, and I felt like I could really get a feel for their personalities. It went from well-written battle and casualty scenes, to cliffhangers, to mundane saga-like day to day life at Bleakly. I could envisage the hall and the huge weight of all the attention & cash that it needed. Foxley's syphilis diagnosis made sense near the end (combined with PTSD). The ending was frustra [...]

    24. Day One:It's a very good sign that I read over 100 pages at my first go. After a long day at work. Late at night. Tired.It was also fun in that I had no idea what kind of book this is or what it is about.UPDATE: Finished!In the words of George Carlin, "Could be meat, could be cake." This could be comic, could be tragic. I suppose it's tragicomic, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The main character, Monty, is a girl ahead of her time and a very sympathetic character. There were interesting & harr [...]

    25. Survivors of WWI meet (as employees / guests / owners) at a run-down hotel which is promoting its ‘restorative waters’.The first 100 odd pages are dull then the recollections of “frontline WWI” start and the book comes to life. Some of the writing is flowery (at least in my opinion) and there are too many different themes / ideas in the book (many of which I thought distracted from the central story of lives shattered by war). The interweaving of the different periods of time (during and [...]

    26. The story follows Monty Montgomery, a nurse during the first world war and afterwards when she travels to Bleakly Hall, a dilapidated hydropathic hotel run by two brothers who were also in the war. There she finds her friend Ada, with whom she traveled to the front during the war and brought back wounded soldiers. Monty comes to Bleakly to settle a score with one of the inhabitants, a Captain Foxley, who is trying to deal with his own horrible memories of the war. The author is often amusing, bu [...]

    27. Even for those who aren't interested in war-related literature, Bleaky Hall is a surprisingly captivating novel about life on the homefront and the attempt to achieve normalcy following World War II. Monty, the book's female protagonist, embodies everything a modern strong, independent woman should be, and reading about her personality being lightyears ahead of her time is inspiring. Filled to the brim with interesting and diverse characters, this novel proves to be a fast read. I'd highly recom [...]

    28. I felt that this book was probably my second favorite of the semester. The content and character development was very thorough and much easier to follow than the other books this semester. This novel provided a storyline that was entertaining and easy to follow since it held my attention. At first it was a little slow and not really up my alley, but as the characters are developed and we learn more about their stories and history it engulfs the reader into their lives. I have not read many novel [...]

    29. Bleakly Hall is a fantastic story about dealing with ones past. The story is set shortly after WWI in a run down old bath house known as Bleakly Hall. The people that inhabit this place are haunted by ghosts of their past. The main character Monty, meets a mess of characters that are trapped in the past. The story starts a bit slow but it quickly picks up when the characters pasts are revealed. The author does a good job at developing the characters. Each is unique and each has a story. The book [...]

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