Title: The Light Over London
Author: Julia Kelly
Genre: historical fiction
Is this part of a series? No
Publish Date: January 8th, 2019
Cara is in the middle of a massive life overhaul. Dealing with a messy divorce and leaving a job she never cared for, she’s back home working with antiques and spending time with Gran. The job is one she loves- the beauty and mystery, and the ability to make sure a well loved object gets new life with someone that will treasure it. Between work and Gran she doesn’t have time for much else, but she’s okay with that.
When going through a house with her employer Cara finds a tin filled with odd treasures. A movie stub, a small compass, a locket, a picture and a journal. It calls to her and, with the family’s permission, she sets out to learn more about the woman from the journal…
Louise isn’t exactly adventurous. Smart and serious, she keeps the accounts and works in a shop in her little Cornish village. It has been decided that she will wait there for the solicitor’s son, Gary, to come home from the war. They will marry, and their mothers will be happy. It isn’t exactly the type of life she wants, but she can see no way out. One night changes all that. Her cousin, Kate, drags her to a dance and there’s Paul. Handsome, sophisticated and interested in her, this RAF pilot is everything she never knew to wish for. A whirlwind, clandestine courtship ensues. Paul gives her strength to look into the dreams she has locked away- travel, leaving home, being useful…. maybe someday going to California. When he is shipped out Louise makes a command decision. She and Kate will join the war effort. When she becomes a gunner girl in the anti aircraft gun unit she is over the moon. She’s using her brain and making a difference. Paul is less pleased citing the dangers… but there seems to be more to his objections. Could it be that they don’t know each other as well as she thought?…
The more Cara reads, the deeper she needs answers about Gran’s time in the war- a time she refuses to address. With the help of her new neighbor, Liam, she moves to uncover the secrets not only for the mystery journalist but her own family.
Kelly’s book is being likened to The Lilac girls and The Nightingale, but I was getting vibes from one of my favorite historical fiction authors, Laura Madeleine. The attention to detail used when merging the dual timelines, the character development and easy flow of the book was reminiscent of Where the Wild Cherries Grow. All the wonderful things about historical fiction are here- the drama of the past, intrigue, description, amazing characters. I could not put this book down! The writing style was magnificent and the different timelines/plot lines merged seamlessly in a way that was believable. So often an author will allow one plot line to take the lead, leaving the other to disappear, unneeded; but here you have two strong stories. I loved that. For me this is a five star book.
On the adult content scale, there’s violence, language and some light sexual content. Nothing major and I would still hand this one over to my niece. I give it a four.
I was lucky enough to receive and eARC of this book from Netgalley and Gallery books in exchange for an honest review. My thanks.
The book comes out Tuesday! Who’s ready?
Link to book: