TITLE: The Light Over London

AUTHOR: Julia Kelly

Rating: ★★★★ (4.5)

PAGES: 304

PUBLISHER: Gallery Books


GENRE(S): Historical Fiction, Romance

The publisher kindly sent me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly - The Contented ReaderIt’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 dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly 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 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 relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties.



The Light Over London follows two different remarkable women, whose lives intertwine through chance. Cara is a antiques dealer who is slowly rebuilding her life after a recent divorce. Louise is a gunner girl for the British Army during the Second World War and is desperately trying to escape the walls her mother has put up for her. When Cara finds a diary of a woman from the Second World War, she sets out on a mission to find the writer, and return the diary.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed these characters. Cara is quiet, and somewhat sheltered. However, she is also fiercely loyal. Finding the diary started as a quest to return it to the owner, yet she found more of herself through it then she anticipated. Louise is exceptional. She’s everything I can imagine a woman to be during the war – unsure, scared, but determined to assist. There are also some side characters – Cara’s Grandmother Iris as well as her neighbour Liam. They’re both just as delightful, and I love their interactions with Cara.

As a history major, I absolutely adored the flashbacks to the Second World War. They seemed so real and life-like. I really enjoyed the events that led Louise to sign up and the wartime experience she had. The diary provides a really enjoyable way to take a glimpse into her past. But her individual chapters makes it feel as though it’s the present.

Julia Kelly’s writing is exceptional. It’s light and airy. It’s heartfelt and totally sucks you in. I constantly wanted more from this story. And, since it’s not very long, you’re quickly swept up in the story and finish it in no time.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone wanting a quick and easy read. One with history woven throughout, but also highly based in the present. These characters and the story is beautiful. I will definitely be checking more of Julia Kelly’s books out in the future.

You deserve to never be disappointed, and you deserve to be with someone who doesn't make you feel like your choices aren't the right ones.

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About The Author

Julia Kelly Author Photo - The Contented ReaderJulia 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 JuliaKellyWrites.com to learn more about all of her books and sign up for her newsletter so they never miss a new release.

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Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!


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