The Light Over London by Julia KellyThe Light Over London by Julia Kelly

The Light Over London

byJulia Kelly

Hardcover | January 8, 2019

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Reminiscent of Martha Hall Kelly's Lilac Girls and Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, this sweeping, entrancing story is a must-read for fans of remarkable women rising to challenges they could never have predicted.

It’s always been easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than confront the present, which is why working with a gruff but brilliant antiques dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly meets Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base, everything changes. And changes again when Paul’s unit is deployed without warning.

Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a Gunner Girl. As bombs fall on London, she and the other Gunner Girls relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties.
Title:The Light Over LondonFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:January 8, 2019Publisher:Gallery BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501196413

ISBN - 13:9781501196416

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A wonderful WW II story I throughly enjoyed this book. It was a very unique story of the woman in London during WW II. It is a very quick read. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2019-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sweet, intriguing, and romantic! The Light Over London is a compelling tale set during the early 1940s, as well as the present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Louise, a young girl who finds adventure outside her hometown by becoming a Gunner Girl in the British Army and being swept off her feet by a dashing RAF pilot; and Cara, a recent divorcee who after finding an old locket, photograph, and diary during an estate sale embarks on a journey to discover the owner’s identity and life story. The writing is light and fluid. The characters are intelligent, resilient, and determined. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into an engaging tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, betrayal, friendship, secrets, and love. Overall, The Light Over London is an uplifting, atmospheric, informative tale about taking chances, moving on, and discovering one’s true self. And even though I felt it delved a little deeper into the romance, relationship side than the historical fiction side of things I did enjoy the little glimpse into some of the unknown, specialty roles women played during WWII.
Date published: 2019-01-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Review Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster Canada and to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book! Told in dual timelines and perspectives The Light Over London tells the story of Cara in 2017 and Louise during World War II. Cara works for an antiques dealer and while clearing through an estate she discovers the diary of a young woman and her time during WWII. Cara becomes fully invested in uncovering the mysteries that this diary holds. When reading the synopsis for this novel one of the first things you will read is that it is reminiscent of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale. I think these comparisons does this novel a disservice. The subject matter and atmosphere are completely different and I think it sets the reader up for different expectations. I would say this novel is ‘lighter’ and more romance focused. I enjoyed aspects of this novel but my connection to the characters was surface level for the most part. I love the ideas this novel had but wished they were further developed and explored. I wanted to know more about the Gunner Girls and more about Iris, Cara’s grandmother. I was left disappointed with the reveal between Cara and Iris in the end, it felt rushed and a bit out of place. I enjoyed seeing Cara reading diary entries from Louise and then delving deeper into those topics with Louise’s point of view. I felt like Kelly did a good job of alternating between timelines and perspectives. If you’re looking for a quick and lighter historical fiction that includes potential romances then this is the book for you! The Light Over London comes out January 8, 2019
Date published: 2019-01-06

Editorial Reviews

“Kelly has crafted two convincing, conflicted heroines in Cara and Louise, and the resolution of Louise’s romance is satisfyingly empowering. Hand this to fans of Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach (2017) and other tales of the vital roles played by women in wartime.”