The Light Over London (Paperback)
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Reminiscent of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, this entrancing story “is a poignant reminder that there is no limit to what women can do. A nostalgic, engrossing read” (Julia London, New York Times bestselling author).
It’s easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than to confront the present, which is why working for 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: an unfinished diary from World War II and a photo of a young woman in uniform. Captivated by the hauntingly beautiful diary, Cara begins her search for the author, never guessing that it might reveal her own family’s wartime secrets.
In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene feels trapped in her Cornish village, waiting for a wealthy suitor her mother has chosen for her to return from the war. But when Louise 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 auxiliary 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 show their bravery and resilience while performing their duties during deadly air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing that she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unopened, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.
“Sweeping, stirring, and heartrending in all the best ways, this tale of one of WWII’s courageous, colorful, and enigmatic Gunner Girls will take your breath away” (Kristin Harmel, bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amelie).
About the Author
Julia Kelly is the award-winning author of books about ordinary women and their extraordinary stories. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London. Readers can visit JuliaKellyWrites.com to learn more about all of her books and sign up for her newsletter so they never miss a new release.
"Sweeping, stirring, and heartrending in all the best ways, this tale of one of WWII's courageous, colorful, and enigmatic Gunner Girls will take your breath away."
— —Kristin Harmel, International bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amelie and The Sweetness of Forgetting
“Deftly weaving together past and present, Kelly tells a fresh, heartfelt story of sisterhood and sacrifice, culminating in a gut-punch finish. Perfect for fans of The Alice Network.”
— –Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment
"The Light over London is a poignant reminder that there is no limit to what women can do. A nostalgic, engrossing read."
— --Julia London, New York Times bestselling author of Seduced by a Scot
"Kelly weaves an intricate, tender, and convincing tale of war and romance with skill and suspense."
— --Publishers Weekly
“Kelly deftly balances intrigue with mystery and historical detail in her latest novel… A charming imagining of the historical gunner girls.”
— –Kirkus Reviews
“Kelly has crafted two convincing, conflicted heroines in Cara and Louise, and the resolution of Louise’s romance is satisfyingly empowering. Hand this to fans of Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach (2017) and other tales of the vital roles played by women in wartime.”
"Readers who adore a richly detailed period piece will be immediately drawn in by the world of The Light Over London. Julia Kelly has delivered her most elegant effort yet: a deeply rewarding and moving novel."
— --Apple Best of the Month
“A sweeping and beautifully written novel… an epic saga of love and friendship.”
— --Women's World
"Historical fiction fans won't be able to wait to get their hands on Julia Kelly's The Light Over London....fans should bookmark [it.]"
"Kelly doesn’t disappoint us–and readers will be engrossed in Louise’s story of love and war juxtaposed with Cara’s present discoveries...We root for both Louise and Cara, understanding their fears, hopes and chances."
“A heartbreaking romance that will grip you from the very beginning. Julia Kelly weaves a tender romantic story around a girl who fights war showing how strong even tender, romantic women can be. With a bit of mystery in the story, even mystery-readers will like it.”
— --The Washington Book Review