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.
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published February 2019
by Gallery Books
My first book by Julia Kelly was a success and I am eager to read more.
The tread these days is books about strong women though they don’t always start that way. It’s during the challenges life throws at them where their drive comes through, where obstructs, because of their sex, gets in the way only making them all the more determined and to realize how strong they really are.
The other tread I love is those parts of history that have been unknown to me, being educated and entertained at the same time. My knowledge of some of the roles women filled during the war are limited, I’ve never heard of a Gunner Girl and that aspect I found very interesting. What a responsibility to shoulder. Sorry, you will have to read the book to find out what a Gunner Girl is :)
The Light Over London
is a well written dual time period story. An old diary and mysterious picture are the start Cara needs and it was her journey as well as Louise’s, during WW2, that kept me captivated. Each with their issues and finding their way in the world. The research is evident and in a market that at times feels saturated with WW2 HF, I enjoyed this one as well as discovering a new to me author.
This book is from my personal kindle library.