The Light Over London

The Light Over London

eBook - 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.
Publisher: New York :, Gallery Books,, 2019
ISBN: 9781501172922
Branch Call Number: DOWNLOADABLE eBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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Jun 17, 2019

Although a bit predictable, it was entertaining and well-written and I enjoyed it. I would suggest it, especially if you liked the Alice Network.

Jun 02, 2019

4 stars. This book tells the story of a relatively unknown group of women who were chosen to support the war effort in England to work in the anti-aircraft, aka Ack Ack unit. But it is also a story of women and their friendships and how war brought out the best and at times the worst in people. It starts with Cara, a young divorcee, licking her wounds from her failed marriage, working with an antiques dealer, who discovers a diary from WWII while clearing out a house after a bereavement. As she reads the story of Louise, who she knows only as initials, and her war time experiences, she becomes invested in her story and spends a lot of time trying to find out who she was and how her story ended. She is helped by her new neighbour, Liam, a history specialist at the university, who has contacts to help her get information. As she hunts for answers, she not only closes in on Louise's story but the story of someone very close to her. I found this a lovely book with an interesting story of a group of women I hadn't known anything about. I hope she continues to write more interesting books about interesting women and their lives.

May 06, 2019

was a good read though quite predictable

May 01, 2019

audiobook available thru mnlink

Apr 28, 2019

The plot was predictable and the two main characters were so similar that it was difficult to tell them apart sometimes. There were so many opportunities to make this book more interesting, but the author seemed content to scrape the surface on anything compelling in order to get back to cliche after cliche. It wasn’t a book a looked forward to reading. I love reading about this time period but this just didn’t do it for me.

Mar 02, 2019

The 'Light Over London' was well written with great detail of history I never knew. For those traits I appreciated this book and it made me read it more slowly.

The mix of the romance and information in 'Light Over London' was well done. However it did become more romance conflict/angst heavy as it continued. I fear that some readers of recent generations will find fault with the characters responses to the challenges of the romance, however they should remember that it was a far different era with far different expectations and thought processes of women.

The reason I give 'Light Over London' 4 stars, low B, is because it all seemed to fall apart at the end. There was this intricate detail then all of a sudden this rushed resolution for the story lines of both characters, one of which was utterly predictable and seems completely unnecessary.

I also feel deceived by the blurb that led me to pick up 'Light Over London' because it strongly intimated, when comparing it to 'Lilac Girls' or 'The Paris Seamstress', that the characters lives would intersect.

Feb 10, 2019

I skimmed through a lot of the romance parts so it was a quick read, the historical part of the Ack Ack gunner girls was very interesting. Many women really were able to break out of societal norms during and after the war and these were inspirational women.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Dec 31, 2018

I really enjoyed this one -- the contemporary storyline in the dual-time frame narrative was more compelling than normal, and I found the historical chapters to be quite absorbing. So often these stories of women finding themselves are framed in the context of a romance, but while there is certainly a romantic subplot, in this case this is really a story of a woman's triumph in spite of her love life, not because of it, which I found refreshing.

IndyPL_AhliahB Nov 27, 2018

A charming first novel by Julia Kelly. The Light Over London is captivating and engrossing - it makes a good quick read and is a change-of-pace after heavier books. The subject matter is pretty fluffy, which makes for a fun historical romance but does cloud the heavier topics of the war.

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