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The Light Over London

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  13,129 ratings  ·  1,786 reviews
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 deale
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  13,129 ratings  ·  1,786 reviews

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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Historical fiction is my favorite genre so I was interested in what this novel had to offer. One of my pet peeves is publicists comparing one book to another. “The Lilac Girls” was about Hitler’s doctors horrible experiments on twins, and the award winning “The Nightingale” was about two sisters and their decisions about how they lived out the war, one at home and one in the French resistance The only thing this novel had in common with those is that it was set during WWII. I think the publisher ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

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 more 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 more about her.

Both of the female c
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 f ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
3.5 stars

In 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
As a GR friend termed it, this is a "light" historical fiction.

3 stars = I liked it, because:
1. I learned something about another group of powerful women from the past, namely, the Ack-Ack Command (gunner girls during WWII in Great Britain) who, according to Julia Kelly, "...defended London's skies on anti-aircraft guns"; and,
2. the dual-timelines held me in suspense (during both stories) right to the end - how were Louise and Cara related?

I found this story focused more on personal relationship
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
4.5 stars

Fair 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
Diane S ☔
DNF at 20%. More romance than history, just not what I was expecting. A little too fluffy.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 differen
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
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 London is probably what many of us WWII readers would refer to as "historical lite", simply meaning it's a bit more 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 lo
Brenda ~Traveling Sister is frustrated with GR
3.5 Stars

First I really have to start off by saying it’s too much of expectations here to compare The Light Over London with The Nightingale or Lilac Girls. The Light Over London is a much lighter historical fiction and more towards a historical romance. I thought they were very different stories and had different tones to the stories. I think you are much better off going into this story without the expectations of comparing it to The Nightingale or Lilac Girls.

Now that I got that off my chest
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Told in two timelines, past and present, you should know from the start that The Light Over London is a sweeping romantic historical novel.

The present timeline features Cara who works with antiques. She has discovered an old tin full of WWII treasures, including an unfinished diary and a picture of a woman in uniform. Cara is determined to find the diary’s author, which takes her to the streets of wartime London.

The past timeline is Louise’s in 1941 England. She’s waiting at home while her suito
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
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 cas
Joe Krakovsky
I recently got 'scolded' by one of my Goodreads friends for being 'nice' instead of giving an 'honest' review. With that in mind, here I go...

I won this book in a Goodreads drawing. It is a novel about two women. One, whom we could call an English little small town country girl, started keeping a diary when she fell in love with a Spitfire pilot at the beginning of World War II. The other female of interest is a current day young woman, divorced, who finds the diary while helping her employer go
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
4 dual-timeline historical stars to this one

Just when I think I've read about many of the facets of WWII, along comes another book to prove me wrong! This book has dual storylines -- a modern story with Cara, and a WWII era story with Louise. Cara works in antiques and discovers Louise's diary when she served as a Gunner Girl and sets out to learn more.

These WWII women were recruited to serve in a nearly-combat role, spotting the enemy planes, dialing in the instruments, but they were not allowe
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet, intriguing, and romantic!

The Light Over London is a compelling tale set during the early 1940s, as well as the present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Louise, a young girl who finds adventure outside her hometown by becoming a Gunner Girl in the British Army and being swept off her feet by a dashing RAF pilot; and Cara, a recent divorcee who after finding an old locket, photograph, and diary during an estate sale embarks on a journey to discover the owner's identity and
Dale Harcombe
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars
In 2017 in England Cara Hargraves, who works at Wilson’s Antiques and Curiosities, finds a notebook in old house being assessed for clearance and sale of anything valuable. The diary starts in October 1940. She also finds a photograph and some other bits and pieces in a tin. Neither the client nor her boss seem at all interested in her find. Since no-once cares what happens to it, Cara decides to take it with her to talk to her grandmother. Cara hopes it might get her grand
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-4
Gosh, I liked this historical. Told in split timelines as in the present day, Kara discovers a diary detailing a WW2 wartime romance, and back in 1941 England, Louise falls in love with an airman, and joins the military branch where women are allowed to serve, becoming a “gunner girl”, this was a page turner once we got a few chapters in. I will confess to being mostly captivated by Louise’s timeline as that’s where most of the action was. Louise was a delightful, relatable character, so wonderf ...more
Alayne Emmett
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was a little bit disappointed with this book as it was hailed as the next Alice Network or The Nightingale but, unfortunately it didn’t even get close. Don’t get me wrong it was a good book to read but not up to the standards of the other books I’ve mentioned.
It felt rushed and left me empty when I finished it which is why I only gave it 4 stars.
If you want an easy read this one is for you.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cara Hargraves, still coming to terms with her divorce, has taken a job as an assistant to an antique dealer. While sorting through an estate sale she comes across a tin with an old diary and a photo inside. The photo is of a woman in uniform and the diary chronicles her life before and during her service in the women's branch of the British Army during WWII. Cara is determined to find the family of the author of the the diary. She discovers the diary is that of Louise Keene, a young woman from ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Antiques, a tin box with a diary, a mystery about who wrote the diary, WWII, and a secret kept by Cara’s grandmother, is how we begin THE LIGHT OVER LONDON.

We meet Louise who lives with her parents during the war and is kept under close watch because her mother thinks a local boy who is fighting will come back and marry her daughter.

Louise feels suffocated. Her cousin Kate is totally opposite...always out and doing what she wants.

Present day has us meeting Cara who has just ended her marriage a
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This could have been a fascinating book about one of the first and only woman bombers in WWII. The woman's story is interesting but for some reason the author juxtapositions the tale of modern day antique dealer, Cara, who discovers the diary in a house of furniture being prepared for auction. This odd pairing leads to an average historical romance instead of an illuminating look at underreported aspect of women roles during the War. What a sad missed opportunity. ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This had everything I love in a story: dual timeline, WWII, some mystery, and little romance. Loved the characters and thought the story was well done.
Dana Atkins
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Light Over London was just the book I needed! I was completely lost in the story and the characters. There were two different timelines and a journal found that tied the two timelines together.
There were some romances, but they did not go into great, disturbing detail. The romances were also very realistic, which is not typical of the romances I’ve seen in WWII historical fiction. Also, they did not all wrap up in a cute little bow, which I appreciated.
Good writing, well-developed characte
Deacon Tom F
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spectacular book. The whole package. Well written, fast paced plot and great use of flashback.

Highly recommend
The Light Over London is a dual timeline story that grabbed me from page one. I love historical fiction about strong women who buck the societal norms to make their own way in life! Julia Kelly’s latest work is a must read for historical fiction fans!
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
A fairly light historical fiction romance. Dual timelines contemporary and during WWII. The best part of the book was that it shone a light on the women who were trained & assigned to anti-aircraft batteries. In this story, one of the MCs (Louise) was assigned to one in London. The contemporary MC (Cara) works in an antique shop & discovers L.K.'s diary. She is intrigued and would like to return it to LK's family & begins to research who LK might have been & what happened to her after the war. S ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2019; Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster Canada

Right off the bat, I will say, don't compare this book with Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale or Martha Hall Kelly Lilac Girls. This book is on the lighter side, not super detailed or an epic book. In saying that, this book is worth the read. This is what I would say is a great beach read when you want to be alone with an absorbing read. I liked Cara and Liam and their budding sparks. I also enjoyed the historical fiction element of the bo
Literary Redhead
I was so captivated by Julia Kelly’s THE LIGHT OVER LONDON. It beautifully covers an era of history that I’m inexplicably drawn to, with the ultimate battle of good vs. evil.

Cara Hargraves works for an antiques dealer and one day, while going through an estate, discovers an old tin with secrets of a long lost relationship. Inside are a diary from WWII and a photo of a uniform-clad young woman. What she finds as she looks into the woman’s life astounds her.

She learns that the woman is nineteen-ye
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, historical, wwii, blurb
I was asked to blurb this book and below are my thoughts! A fantastic read.

In THE LIGHT OVER LONDON, Julia Kelly introduces readers to a new group of WWII heroes—the gunner girls. 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.
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Julia Kelly is the international bestselling author of historical women's fiction books about the extraordinary stories of the past. Her books have been translated into 13 languages. 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. ...more

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