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The Light Over London

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,832 ratings  ·  628 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, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Gallery Books
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  • The Light Over London by Julia  Kelly
    The Light Over London
    Release date: Jan 08, 2019
    "A poignant reminder that there is no limit to what women can do." —Julia London, New York Times bestselling author.

    "This sweeping, stirring tale of

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 50 copies available, 7500 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 25 - Apr 03, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Showing 1-30
    3.82  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,832 ratings  ·  628 reviews

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    Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
    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 30, 2018 rated it liked it
    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
    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
    Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: kindle, netgalley
    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 lov
    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
    Diane S ☔
    DNF at 20%. More romance than history, just not what I was expecting. A little too fluffy.
    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
    Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
    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
    Brenda - Traveling Sister
    Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
    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
    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
    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
    Susan Johnson
    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.
    Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
    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 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
    Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2018, blurb, historical, wwii
    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.
    Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: giveaways
    This is not the sort of book I would usually pick up. There is a historical war time romance story and I prefer contemporary books. But once I started, I found myself pulled into the story and I ended up really enjoying it.

    The book interweaves the story on Cara, an antique dealer in the present day, with that of Louise, a young woman who runs off to join the war effort in 1941. There are some similarities between the two woman. Both woman are unlucky in love and feel they will never meet the man
    There are two parallel stories in this one. Cara works for an antiques dealer and, while looking through someone’s estate, she discovers an old diary hidden away; she is given permission to take it and try to find out to whom it belonged. It attracted her attention because there was a photo of a young woman in an RAF uniform, and Cara’s grandmother had also been part of the Royal Air Force during the war. In fact, Cara’s grandmother won’t talk about the war, and Cara desperately wants to hear ab ...more
    Danielle Rotko
    Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
    When I saw this was compared to The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I would’ve been happy with a book even in the same ballpark, but sadly The Light Over London pales in comparison. While I enjoyed the story and reading about women’s roles in the war, I know it will not have a lasting impact on me. It was just “okay.” I read The Nightingale almost 10 months ago and I still think about it to this day. Unfortunately this will not be one of those books that sticks ...more
    Heather Donovan
    Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
    **Possible spoilers ahead**

    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

    I requested this book on the marketing promise that this book was for fans of Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale.

    While I enjoyed the story of Louise and the other Ack-Ack Girls, the present-day story with Cara and her grandmother Iris was wasted. I was waiting for a big reveal that somehow tied the two stories together - given that Iris and Louise were both serving during the war, I thought perhaps Louise
    Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A moving and beautifully told wartime romance. Two women, two remarkable stories from different generational perspectives.

    Desperately stuck in a small town and itching to escape an overbearing mother,, nineteen year old Louise runs away, enlisting in the military to do her part in the WWII war effort shortly after falling head over heals in love with Paul, a handsome and sophisticated fighter pilot.

    In current day, we meet young Cara, an antiques apprentice charged with fleshing out facts behind
    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
    Cara Hargraves is newly divorced and training to be an antiques dealer. While working on a job site with her mentor and boss, she comes across a mysterious tin that holds a diary and some photos that date back to World War II. She is instantly intrigued about the diary and is determined to reunite it with its owner. Chapters switch between present day Cara to Louise Keene, a young woman from a coastal village in England, who we come to realize is the woman in the photo that Cara unearths. Louise ...more
    Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
    Present day, we meet Cara who hides herself in her work with an antiques dealer. While on a job site, Cara finds an old tin with a diary inside. She feels compelled to find out who wrote it.
    Flashback, we meet Louise who feels stuck in her small village. And so the story begins. I liked the characters and most of the story, but Iris seemed thrown into the mix. Her actions were over the top for me, so I really didn't care for her. However, with out the drama of Iris, learning/reading about Louise
    Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Loved it in a quiet way. Learned about the Gunner girls.
    Tina Woodbury
    For all of my reviews: www.readingbetweenthepagesblog.wordpr...

    *3.5 stars
    Cara Hargraves is an antique dealer. While cleaning out the house of a woman who has recently passed away, she finds a diary. Her curiosity is instantly piqued and she is determined to find the person who wrote it and return it to them.

    This story is written in dual time periods (present day and 1941). Present day is told by Cara whose search for the diary owner will open up old wounds and eventually bring much needed closur
    Laura//lauralovestoread Gelinas
    Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019
    I’ve read quite a few WWII books up to this point, and you’d think that I would tire of this historical fiction wrapped around the war, but there are some stories, like the one found in The Light Over London, that just pull you in from the very first chapter.

    I enjoyed the dual timeline storylines, and the mystery behind finding the woman behind the diary that was discovered. I loved the romances within this book, and I admired the inner strength of the women that volunteered to help during the w
    Jennifer N
    Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This is a historical fiction/present day timeline story. In the present Cara is a divorcee who is trying to learn more about her grandmother's past in WWII. She works for an antique dealer and finds at diary of a young woman who enlisted during WWII. She tries to solve the mystery of who she is while trying to also learn about her grandmother. The historical fiction storyline is about Louise, a young woman who becomes a gunner and marries a pilot.
    Susan Peterson
    Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Light Over London is a warm-hearted dual timeline story about two women who are finding their way in the world. Louise is a small-town girl whose life is changed during WWII when she meets a handsome pilot, and more importantly, when she joins a woman’s unit in the British army. Cara is the present-day heroine who is piecing her life back together at the same time she is trying to uncover family secrets. Both stories are interesting and kept me turning pages to find out how their lives turn out!
    Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it

    This was an enjoyable book that was partially set in modern time and partially set in the era of WWII. In both time periods it explores the romance developing between two characters. One thing that bothered me about the book was that the romantic spark between Liam and Cara was dragged on for too long.
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    Goodreads Librari...: Changing Book Cover 3 15 Feb 07, 2019 02:23PM  
    Play Book Tag: The Light Over London / Julia Kelly. 4 stars 3 15 Dec 16, 2018 10:59AM  
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    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. She also writes contemporary romance novels as Julia Blake. Readers can visit J ...more