Today I have a review of Light Over London, now available in paperback from Gallery Books! A big thank you to Gallery for my copy.
Told in two timelines, past and present, you should know from the start that The Light Over London is a sweeping romantic historical novel.
The present timeline features Cara who works with antiques. She has discovered an old tin full of WWII treasures, including an unfinished diary and a picture of a woman in uniform. Cara is determined to find the diary’s author, which takes her to the streets of wartime London.
The past timeline is Louise’s in 1941 England. She’s waiting at home while her suitor is off at war, but while waiting, she happens to meet Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, an RAF pilot, and all her plans change.
You see, Louise decides to join the British Army as a Gunner Girl. While she works to identify enemy planes on air raid missions, she dreams of Paul’s return to her.
The romance takes the front seat in this lovingly drawn historical novel. You can’t help but love Louise. She’s such a strong, formidable character, and I rooted for her and Paul. I loved all I learned about the Gunner Girls and was fascinated and inspired by all they did. The writing is smooth, and overall, I enjoyed this glimpse at these important women in history with a sweet romance.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
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.
Have you read The Light Over London, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR