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The Light Over London

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  8,690 ratings  ·  1,343 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
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  8,690 ratings  ·  1,343 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
Liz
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
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Brandice
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
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Marialyce
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
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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
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Diane S ☔
DNF at 20%. More romance than history, just not what I was expecting. A little too fluffy.
Jenny
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
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Erin
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
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Tina
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 ...more
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
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Brenda -Traveling Sister
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
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Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction~on hiatus))
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
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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
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Zoe
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet, intriguing, and romantic!

The Light Over Londonis 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 discoverthe owner's identity and
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DeAnn
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
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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
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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.
Holly
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.
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
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Anna
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
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
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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.
Tammy
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!
Literary Soirée
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
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Michelle
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, wwii, 2018, 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.
Julia
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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Kris - My Novelesque Life
RATING: 4 STARS
2019; Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster Canada
(Review Not on Blog)

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
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Jeanette Lewis
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
At first glance this appears to be a love story but it is more than that for it will appeal to the history buff readers as it gives insight to the many women in WW2, who stepped up to the plate and took on roles that were normally male dominated. A woman's natural aptitude for multi-tasking gave many a chance to throw away the knitting needles and the stifling expectations of society, put on a pair of trousers and embrace change.
The story begins modern day 2017 with Cara who is treading the
...more
Jenny
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Light Over London is about two women in different centuries meet through a lost diary. Cara Hargraves need a change after her marriage ends and to move to Barlow, Gloucestershire. Cara found work with an antique dealer and one day at evaluating an estate to sell Cara found a diary of a young woman. Cara became fascinated to return the journal to the owner. However, did not know how to start her neighbour a history teacher Liam McGown said he would help her. The readers of The Light Over ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Light Over London / Julia Kelly. 4 stars 3 19 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. Readers can visit JuliaKellyWrites.com to learn more about all of her books and ...more