!!> Reading ➶ The Light Over London ➮ Author Julia Kelly – Landyshi.info
3.5 Stars While I enjoyed The Light Over London, I didn t love it like I hoped that I would, especially since I requested it because it is compared in the blurb to The Nightingale, which is one of my most favorite WWII historical fiction novels I ve made this complaint several times this year about books being marketed as either the wrong genre or indiscriminately compared to other books in the hopes that readers would pick them up because they were fans of those other books, and that s the case here since the only thing The Light Over London has in common with The Nightingale is both are set during WWII.I think it had the potential to be a great story, but it was less historical fiction and historical romance than I like so for me, at least, that took something away from the story, especially since Cara s romance in the current time period felt a bit contrived and unnecessary, and I wish the author had instead spent time on the history of the gunner girls and Louise s role as one since their part in WWII was so extraordinary and so important Also, my favorite character in the entire book was Cara s grandmother, and I would have loved it if her character had been fleshed out she was just fabulous All in all, it s a perfectly lovely story but will not be going on my list of favorite books It is a quick, enjoyable read, and if you like romance novels or lighter historical fiction, then this might be perfect for you However, if you are expecting a deeper and profound WWII novel like The Nightingale and want your historical fiction to be historical and less fluff, then you might want to skip this one Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for an ARC to read in exchange for my fair and honest review. 4.5 starsFair warning Tissues needed Positively touching, a sweet romantic slow burn sweep through two historical timelines Separate, yet intertwined are the walks of two woman from different backgrounds and times, who want to follow their hearts and are thrown devastating challenges their way Moving back into her hometown to restart her life after a painful divorce, Cara Hargraves works on estate inspections, appraisals and sales Her interest in all old things and historical treasures take up most of her time, as she studies over manuals and catalogs during work as well as on her own free time Isolating herself from others and trying to make a new home, she hardly seeks time for socialization of any kind nor gives her new cute neighbor any thought At one of her on site assignments, Cara stumbles upon an old tin with a diary in it that was kept from the estate sale itself With permission she is allowed to read the diary over the course of the next few weeks and she finds herself entranced by the strength, heartache, blush worthy and tragic moments told by a young woman who has run away from home to follow independence and love It s the beginning of WWII, Louise is destined to be betrothed to a young man with a bright future as her mother sees fit and has planned it out for years just as soon as he is back from his military duty assignment But Louise is not happy Not liking the confinement of her small town, she begins to dream big and of going to California to study math.As her BFF cousin takes Louise to a dance one evening in town, she falls smitten with a young soldier that is on RR for the evening Cautiously they go on a few dates, always staying hidden away from the prying eyes in town But as destiny has it, someone sees them and tells her mother As the reprimands escalate, Louise decides to run away with her cousin to enlist in hopes of making a difference and creating a better life for herself other than the one her mother envisions It turns out, Louise accelerates on her aptitude tests with highest honor and becomes the special assignment of Ack Ack girl along with 5 other smart and fierce ladies As she is training and becoming close to her comrades, she keeps pen paling with Paul the entire time and keeping log in her diary As the months pass, Paul and her are trying to meet up again, and after many unforeseen circumstances and canceled leave time, he surprises her and shows up at her duty station One day later, they marry and consummate their new relationship till they will see each other again Cara in the meantime is reading through the diary and her cute neighbor happens to be a history professor As he inches forward in a neighborly way with a dinner to get to know her, Cara tells him of her work and the diary Intrigued about the mystery couple and the abrupt diary ending, he offers to help her in finding out who the rightful owner of the diary is so they can return it to the family.As the novel switches viewpoints between Louise and Cara, it becomes a connected network of similarities and revelations balanced with moments of the women s relationships, failures and successes If you have been fooled like me by the blurb on the book that states For fans of the Lilac Girls or The Nightingale , let me say, that in my opinion that is not exactly true I am an absolute fan of the Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and the tragic story of the Rabbit Girls at Ravensbrueck, so much though, that I have done further reading on the subject and suggested readings from the back of that book And this novel was nothing like the atrocities that happened at Concentration camp For fans of The Nightingale it may hold a bit closer of a match, but again the direct contact and influence of German soldiers in town and their violence was a missing piece in this novel However, The Light Over London is a beautiful, romantic read that takes place around during the WWII and holds it s own for a great sweeping story that touches on the subject of woman in the military during the war Specifically the Ack Ack Girls This was a legitimate branch of ladies that was sent to assist gunners to target in on German planes to shoot them out of the sky from the ground So as it goes, I went and looked up some info on these brave ladies and will attach it at the bottom To gather my thoughts and sum it up, this novel is beautiful and touching The romance is sweet and slow, and I don t read romance novels normally I fell for the blurb expecting something different But I was pretty smitten This book ended up being the one I wanted to read in the tub with some bubbly and the one that kept me up late at night reading The conclusion is sweet, not everything is a happy ending, but it checked all the boxes of closing the different plot endings only for me to wish I could read on So, already missed are the characters and this book will be one of my faves for its own flavor not to stand in the shadow of another Romance haters beware Romance lovers embrace This novel is beautiful Enjoy I received a digital copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review All opinions are my own Thank you Photos and articles on my website 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. 3.5 starsIn this book we meet two woman of two different time periods The first is Cara Hagraves, a young woman devastated from a current divorce who works with a antiques dealer classifying objects The other is Louise Keene, a young woman who is stifled by her overbearing parents and looks for a way to escape their confines She finds it by running away and then working as one of the ack ack girls during World War II Both girls are trying to find a place where they belong, a place where they find their sense of self, a way to establish their natures Cara finds hidden in an old piece of furniture, a diary that once belonged to Louise and from those pages the story is drawn As Cara searches to determine who Louise was, she discovers about her own grandmother s place in the war She is helped by a young man and the romance begins to bud as they draw closer to one another and the truth of what happened to these young woman thrown into the war effort This book offered an interesting look into the ack ack girls, but it was of a romance story than an actual historical fiction novel While I did like it, for it was an easy read, I did want development on the historical side It did however, encourage me to research about the ack ack girls and for me that is what a good book often does..inspires you to dig deeper Thank you to Julia Kelly, Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book Thanks also to the Traveling Sisters reading group who read along with me.My reviews can be seen here 3.75 stars rounded up to 4 A compelling dual narrative taking place in 2018 and during WWII that was Impossible to put down The Light Over Londonis probably what many of us WWII readers would refer to as historical lite , simply meaning it s a bit heavy on the relationships between people in the case of this book the gunner girls , families, and of course the romantic kind But it was just the type of story to start on a cold 50 celsius Saturday morning over my coffee I really loved both protagonists modern gal Cara and Gunner Girl, Louise, equally and felt their individual stories complimented each other well Author Julia Kelly matches the historical record with just the right dose of intrigue that kept me on the edge of my seat If it appears, I am hesitant to give out a full rave rating, it is only because I saw a few plot twists coming but I would still not hesitate to recommend it to other readers Thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Shuster Canada for an e ARC in exchange for an honest review. DNF at 20% More romance than history, just not what I was expecting A little too fluffy. Mystery writers like to be scared Romance novelists like to fall in love Comedic writers like to laugh Historical fiction novelists like to suffer They choose to write a story set in a time and place that the reader does not know first hand They must also develop a good storyline that keeps the readers interest.Light over London by Julia Kelly is a good historical novel She is a masterful storyteller with an attention to historic detail The story of two different women set in two different time periods double her labor and doubles our pleasure.First we meet Cara Hargraves, newly moved to her old hometown after a bitter divorce and beginning a new career as an assistant to an antique dealer where she examines and catalogues items in estate sales She is intrigued by a trio of items a compass, a group of photos and a diary that she finds in a desk drawer.Reading the diary, Clara discovers the story of Louise Keene, a young lass who leaves her small town home to go to London during WWII.Now we have two stories, one current, one set in the past to enjoy Why did Louise go to London Who was involved in Louise s life Is Clara s grandmother somehow a participant in this story Will Liam, the handsome college history be able to untangle stories in the diary and also help Clara face the future Can Clara overcome her reticence and share her own story with Liam Julia Kelly tells a story that lures you in and keep you there You will be transported back in time to wartime London You will experience current day life full of opportunities, losses and needs.Louise Keene s story is a full complete story Clara Hargraves story is a full complete story Combined they will leave you wishing for Light over London I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley NetGalley LightoverLondon Ah my favourite kind of story, that moves back and forth through the past and present time Superbly written In the present day, Cara is an antiques dealer, who is dealing with an estate of a recently deceased lady She finds an old diary in amongst her things It is a diary written in the WW2 era about a war time romance She is fascinated and begins to try to solve the mystery The story goes back in time as Cara reads the diary entries In the present time Cara is also trying to find out a family secret about her own Grandmother during the second World War.Sometimes when I read these past and present stories I enjoy one than the other but in this book I equally enjoyed both stories They were well thought out and told brilliantly little by little until the end and the big reveals I will definitely be reading from this author If you enjoy Wartime romances I highly recommend this one I chose to read this around Remembrance Day I think it added to the nostalgia I really enjoyed it Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Schuster Canada for allowing me the opportunity to read this Advanced Reader Copy. The publisher recommends this book for those who liked The Nightingale or Lilac Girls, which is what drew me to it In truth, it struck me as romance than historic fiction That s not to say it s not enjoyable Just know what you re getting going into it Drawing on two parallel storylines, it tells of Cara, who works for an antique dealer and finds a diary from a WWII gunner girl We read about Louise as Cara reads her diary and determines to find out about her Both of the female characters come dangerously close to being a cliche Shy, reserved women who finally strike out for themselves while finding love I read historical fiction to try and learn something about a time period I didn t feel like I came away from this having learned anything new This is an enjoyable, fast read but nothing new or different My thanks to netgalley and Gallery Books for an advance copy of this book. The Light Over London is a dual timeline story, in which Cara finds a WWII diary at one of the properties where she s working with her antiques dealer boss, and becomes invested in identifying its author and what happened to her Cara has buried herself in work to avoid dealing with the grief and pain in her life recently The diary gives her another outlet for distraction, and she tries to use its story to connect with her grandmother, Iris, who has always avoided talking about her time in the British service The author of the diary is Louise, a young woman who wanted than her small town life She fell in love then volunteered for the British service The book alternates between Cara s life now and Louise s life during WWII The Light Over London is mostly a historical romance with elements of historical fiction mixed in throughout I enjoyed it, but the romances which were on the lighter side, didn t necessarily feel genuine They seemed a bit hasty and or too convenient, just not as believable as I would have liked At certain points in the book, I preferred one storyline over the other and this flip flopped as the story progressed As a whole though, I didn t prefer one than the other Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.