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The Darkest Hour

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,627 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes an epic tale of love, passion and heartbreak.

Love is as uncertain and as untameable as war…

In the summer of 1940, most eyes are focused on the skies above the South of England. The battle for Britain has just begun. But young Evie Lucas has eyes for no-one but a dashing young pilot called Tony. Evie has a glittering career as
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published July 3rd 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published January 1st 2014)
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Dale Harcombe
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Two and a half stars.
This is a story told in two time periods – the present and the 1940s. It took me a while to get into the style of it. I wasn’t fussed on the way the narrative kept swapping so quickly from one time frame and one lot of characters to the other. It gave the book a fragmented feel. I mean it wasn’t even a chapter devoted to each story, just a page or sometimes half a page before I was yanked off to the other time frame and characters. But after a while I settled down to the sty
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very unusually for me, I've only given this three stars ...... If you know Barbara Erskine's work then you'll know they are all time slip type novels where events from the past merge into the present day. I have loved her work for years and it's a genre she writes particularly well.

The narrative flowed easily between the two time frames, that of the 1940s Battle of Britain and the present day. It centres around the life of an emerging war artist Evelyn Lucas and her love affair with a young spi
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not always too keen on books which have a World War II element but as this one is by Barbara Erskine – whose books I enjoy – I decided to read it anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found myself totally absorbed in the story – both past and present. Lucy’s husband has died in an unexplained car crash and shortly afterwards she hears she has received a grant to help her fund the research and writing of a biography of Evie Lucas – an almost forgotten war artist. Lucy became interested in the ...more
Jul 12, 2014 rated it liked it
As my 3 star rating shows, I liked it, but I didn't "really" like it.
I usually find reading Barbara Erskine's books "unputdownable", but I struggled with this one. I found it all too easy to put it down and wander off after only a few minutes of reading. I quite enjoyed the storyline, though I did find it predictable (I guessed the twists very early on), and I did find it quite an unhappy book. There wasn't much to lighten the mood, and I did find the leading lady of the story (Evie) a bit apat
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Barbara Erskine is a must read for me, and yes, I liked this one, but wouldn’t say it is a Lady of Hay or Child of the Phoenix….. This ‘ghost’ story is set in present time and World War II. I found I quite enjoyed the storyline, but sometimes, because we go from one time period to the other quite often, it took me quite a way into the book to really get attached to the storyline. We were flicking around quite often which sometimes can be a bad thing because I felt I could put the book down more ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tato kniha se po dočtení stala mou nejmilejší knihou, což myslím celkem mluví za vše. Barbara Erskinová je má nejoblíbenější spisovatelka a před přečtením Nejtemnější hodiny jsem měla na pomyslném 1.místě Na pokraji temnoty, ovšem nyní, nemám slov. Knihu jsem četla, když jsem byla nemocná, celkem dva dny. Včera těsně před půlnocí jsem ji dočetla. Posledních 30 stránek ze mě tekly potoky slz. A to se mi ještě nikdy nestalo. U dojemných knih jsem měla vždy maximálně slzy v očích, ale u Nejtemnější ...more
Judi Mckay
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the last Erskine I intend to read (unless I find some early ones on my bookshelf). I used to love her books but this falls short of her previously high standard. It was rambling, badly edited, too long and didn't work for me. All her books involve some element of ghosts or supernatural in them - this one too- this time the ghosts were people who'd known each other in WW2. But when I found out who they are and why they've returned from beyond the grave I found I didn't much care and didn' ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dokonalá kniha!! :) Pokud máte příběhy z druhé světové války, napínavé příběhy s originálním nápadem, tak tahle kniha bude přímo pro Vás :). Strašně moc se mi to líbilo.. Knížka byla čtivá, autorčin styl psaní jsem si přímo zamilovala a ke konci se mi chtělo i brečet. Za poslední dobu jsem poznala trochu jak může být život nespravedlivý někdy a tahle kniha mě o tom bohužel přesvědčla ještě víc. Na knihu Měděný jezdec to u mě zdaleka nemá, ale pokud i vy jste tu knihu četli tak si rozhodně přečtě ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I liked this book and in general I like the mix of present and past events. Even better if there are secrets and mysteries involved :) But was it really necessary to bring up ghosts and vengeful spirits? I don't think this brought any pluses to the book...
Linda Wallis
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Again, another fabulous novel I haven't been able to put down.
Great characters, brilliant writing, visibly descriptive situations!
Barbara Erskine's skill in making her words leap off the page into real life is wonderful.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I have read most of Barbara Erskine's books, and enjoyed this one very much.
I could not put it down.

I love the way she combines history/present day, you feel that you are there.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This was one of those books that has been on my bookshelf for about 3 years. I bought it because it had just been released, I think, and I figured why the heck not. I'm not a huge historical fiction fan; definitely not a huge paranormal fan, but this was just so damn beautiful! It's definitely in the running for my favourite book of 2018 so far.

It was split into two timelines - present day, and 1940. I think I favoured the 1940 timeline, simply because Tony Anderson was just my favourite charac
P.J. Roscoe
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this story. Although it took me a while to get into it, by the middle, I was racing to get to the end. Some of the story was obvious, but I wanted to see how it would unfold and it didn't disappoint. Wonderful to have met Barbara as now I can really understand her characters and books. Definitely one of her best
Huw Rhys
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was an interesting enough read - in some parts.

It is a Romantic Ghost story, set both in the near present and then shifting back in time to the Second World War. Or a romance, with a few ghosts in it, who've been around since the Second World War.

The historical story is quite interesting - the modern day one not quite so. The ghost bit - well, on one level - sensible cynical head on, it is pretty far fetched I'm afraid. However, put a more "creative" head on, see it as maybe metaphor, or se
3.5 stars

I enjoyed The Darkest Hour but it's far from my favourite Barbara Erskine. It's my first time listening to Sandra Duncan, she did a wonderful job with narration and I'd certainly pick up something narrated by her again. I didn't give the 20+ hours a thought when I bought The Darkest Hour, I was only interested in getting into the latest from one of my favourite authors but if I'm being honest, this one dragged at times.

The plot moves effortlessly and distinctly between WWII the Battle
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anyone who likes war time romance
Disappointing... I think would be the word of choice.

The problem for me is Lady Of Hay, Kingdom Of Shadows, Child Of The Phoenix were so good, that I keep hoping for Barbara Erskine's new books to match them. They never quite do.


As a ghost story The Darkest Hour is enjoyable, the prologue and first few chapters had me engrossed and then it just fizzled away to nothing, the character depth that was in previous books was severely lacking in this one.

The plot line just felt flimsy and no
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set in both the present day and the summer of 1940, The Darkest Hour takes the reader on two journeys. One tells the story of Evelyn Lucas, a young war artist during the Battle of Britain, the other of Lucy Standish, a recently widowed art historian in the present day.

With Spitfires taking off from the Westhampnett air field and the Battle of Britain raging in the skies above the Sussex countryside, Evelyn records it all in her paintings.

Seventy years on, Lucy becomes aware of Evelyn and her wor
Cynthia Green
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Barbara Erskine is one of my favourite writers and I always look forward to her novels. When I heard, last year, that her new book's past story was set during WWII I was not impressed. I've come to love her historical heroines who reach out through the centuries for justice and revenge.

Evie Lucus is a young artist in 1940 who falls in love with a dashing young pilot. I found her a weak character and the plot was too predictable. The editing of this book is poorly done with numerous grammatical
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed The Darkest Hour a lot, but could not give it 5 stars as it took me so long to settle to it. Once I'd read the first one hundred pages, I wanted to keep on turning the pages; it certainly improved as the tale unfolded.

Not one of my favourites by Barbara Erskine, but certainly worth reading if you enjoy a mix of mystery and supernatural.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanne Adamek
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love character driven novels. Add two time periods, history and ghosts and I am definitely hooked especially if the writer can do all these as well as Barbara Erskine.

The Darkest Hour was a wonderfully atmospheric story. Both time lines I found to be easily followed and totally absorbing. The author can draw evil and doom like none other. After I finished the book I had the over full and bloating feeling like eating a five course meal...but it was satisfing too. I enjoyed every course!
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Dark and complicated this one. But another smooth BE book written in tribute to WW11 veterans including her father. Maybe I've read to many of her's lately or maybe its more personal to her or because it WW11 but it has a different tone to her others - darker, more earnest, more to prove - I don't know. It just read differently and I'm not sure words like like or dislike apply.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but felt that it lacked the haunting air that her other books have had, the plot line moved slowly and was fairly predictable ...
Linda Howard
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A different time period to her usual novels. Very enjoyable read.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-loetud
Tutvustuse leiab blogist
Kevin Marsh
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another jolly fine tale by Barbara Erskine. Thoroughly enjoyed reading every paragraph on every page. Brilliant so what more can I say?
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I’ve never read any of Barbara Erskine’s books before, but the pretty cover and the promise of a mystery attracted me to this one.

I quite enjoy reading time-switching stories - the best by Kate’s Mosse and Morton – and this one was a decent read, changing between 1940 (during the midst of the Battle of Britain) and the present day. It follows the joint stories of artist Evie and her biographer in the future, Lucy, who is trying to piece together Evie’s life. Without spoilers, there are lots of f
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I very seldom read books with 'ghosts' in them - - I firmly believe in ghosts - just not really interested in reading about them. But I enjoyed this book to the fullest - even the various 'ghost' appearances coming forward from 'the past'!!!
Lucy, the art dealer became enthralled with a painting purchased by her husband. Then she became enthralled with the original artist - a female war painter of 1940 named Evie......and so begins the journey! As a reader, we become involved with both Lucy's
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1940. aasta suvel kohtuvad Inglismaal noor ja andekas kunstnik Evie Lucas ning uljas piloot Tony. Seitsekümmend aastat hiljem tahab kunstiajaloolane Lucy Eviest raamatut kirjutada ning hakkab ammu toimunud sündmusi kildude kaupa avastama ja tervikuks kokku panema.
Suhtusin raamatusse teatava skeptilisusega, sest olin juba enne proovinud ühte Erskine raamatut lugeda ning tolles olev vaimude komponent ei sobinud mulle üldse.
"Kõige tumedama tunni" sisukirjelduse ja arvustuste põhjal lootsin, et se
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2015 Reading Chal...: In the Darkest Hour by Barbara Erskine 1 9 Feb 10, 2015 06:38PM  
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An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of six bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus two collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty different languages. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.

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