>ARC Review: The Dancing Years, Cynthia Harrod Eagles

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*This book will be published in the US on January 15 2011 – but is available now in the UK*
*This is book No. 33 in the series!*

The Dancing Years (Morland Dynasty) The 33rd installment in the saga of the Morland family begins in the year 1919

As the euphoria of the Armistice fades, the nation count the cost—millions dead or disabled, unemployment, strikes, and shortages—and attempt to build a new life. Teddy tries to recreate balance but then a trip to France to see the place where Ned fell has unforeseen consequences. Polly, grieving for Erich Kuppel, persuades her father to send her to New York, and despite Prohibition, the great city pulses with life and promises her a fresh start. Jessie and Bertie, detained in London by Bertie’s job, long to start their new life together. Jack becomes a pioneer of civil aviation, but when the company fails he’s faced with unemployment, with a growing family to support. As they all seek relief from their own memories, the Morland’s witness a new world struggling to be born out of the ashes; and as long as the music lasts, they will keep on dancing.

Reviewing any one book in the Morland Dynasty is a very difficult thing to do, this series has been going on for 33 books, and sadly the journey is almost over – book 34 will be the last book in the series unless an extremely wonderful and clever publisher decides to continue to where author Cynthia Harrod Eagles wanted to take the series.

I have already mentioned the Morland Dynasty a few times on this site. This is one of my all time favorites and a must for anyone who loves historical fiction. I adore the fact that each book brings the period it focuses on to life, with the characters taking part in some of histories greatest events. It is just like being a fly on the wall.

The series focuses on the life, loves and trials of the Morland family in England. The first book focused on the Wars of the Roses (begins in 1434) and now, 33 books and nearly 500 years later we are in The Dancing Years – the aftermath of World War I. Hardship, unemployment, dealing with loss, and dancing the night away so that you don’t have one minute to think of all those that aren’t standing at your side anymore, so that there is never time to stop and wonder what it was all for.

The Dancing Years is a wonderful addition to this sublime series. It isn’t one of the lighter books, as each member of the Morland family and its satellites has to make peace with the past and look to the future, but as usual, Cynthia Harrod Eagles also focuses on the wonderful discoveries and inventions of each era. In this case – commercial aviation and the wireless (radio).

Whenever I open one of these books I wonder what fate (and the incredible author) has in store for each character – you see, I have adopted them all for my own, so every time someone reaches the end of his or her days, every baby that’s born, every romance…I always end up wondering, will my favorites get a happy ending? (or happy beginning?) will someone die? Will it be a “good death”?

I don’t know if I would recommend reading these books as stand-alones since each book just starts off without giving too much background information on previous books. Then again, why would anyone want to read these as stand-alones? Start at the beginning and I hope that like me, you too will feel that special connection with the Morlands.

Just one more book to go and like the dancers in The Dancing Years, I just don’t want this particular dance to end.

I cannot recommend this series enough!

For more information about The Morland Dynasty and author Cynthia Harrod Eagles, visit her website!

Happy Reading!

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