I cannot even begin to tell you how achingly beautiful this book is.
Iona Grey has broken my heart all over again.
I know my words will never, in a million years, do this book the justice it deserves. You need to read it for yourself to understand. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I absolutely adored Iona Grey’s previous novel, Letters To The Lost. I talk about it, a lot! I have been patiently waiting (for four years) for her next book and I can tell you that The Glittering Hour has most certainly been worth the wait, although I truly hope I won’t have to wait another four years for another book by this amazing author.
I practically squealed with excitement when the publisher sent me an invite to view The Glittering Hour on Netgalley, but unfortunately due to previous commitments I was unable to dive in immediately, although resisting it was hard work I can tell you! Anyway, it didn’t download to my Paperwhite, for some reason, and by the time I had realised it had already been archived, but never mind because I bought it anyway and I have the paperback on pre-order. I will be adding the audible narration also.
In 1925 Selina Lennox is well known as one of the ‘Bright Young Things’. Her life consists of enjoying parties with her friends, drinking and sometimes slightly risky activities which often result in their pictures appearing in the newspapers and fashionable magazines. She knows she will be expected to settle down one day and she is determined to enjoy her youth in the meantime. Then the untimely death of a cat brings her face to face with Lawrence Weston and her life changes forever.
Lawrence is a struggling artist with a passion for photography and is the most endearing of characters. I pictured him as extremely good looking. Tall, dark and handsome in a bit of a rough and ready kind of a way. I totally understood how Selina fell for him so easily, but I do believe, looks aside, that everyone has a soul mate and these two are most definitely each other’s. They reminded me so much of my husband and I except I cannot begin to imagine how I would ever give that up, especially to satisfy the expectations of family and society as a whole. Having said that, I could, sort of, understand Selina’s fears. Not so much her fear of what others might think, but her fear of loving so deeply and of being so emotionally overwhelmed. My heart broke for her, but especially for Lawrence. This story is just so full of raw emotion and I know it will be another one which will stay with me for a very long time to come.
When we meet Alice, Selina’s daughter, almost a decade later she is residing with her Grandparents as her parents are away on a business trip. Alice is 9 years old and the love between her and her mother is palpable. They keep in touch via letter, but obviously miss each other dearly and my heart went out to them both. Even more so as the story progresses and we learn that not all is as it seems. When I thought this story could not be any more heart-breaking it shattered my heart all over again as the chapters revealed the truth behind Selina’s absence. I sobbed so much I could barely read the words. It’s just so sad, but also hopeful in the end. I’d love to hear about how life pans out for these lovely characters after the closing chapter of this book. I have to hope that they find happiness and peace.
The epic and long-awaited new romance from the author of Letters to the Lost, winner of the RNA Award.
‘Emotionally fraught, evocative and redemptive, The Glittering Hour has been well worth the wait. What a superb novel – Iona Grey really is back with aplomb’ Fiona Mitchell, author of The Maid’s Room
‘Poignant, beautiful and sad. A must read!’ Katrina Oliver
‘Deeply captivating, engaging and so irresistible. I could not put it down!’ Petra Quelch
‘An enchanting, evocative read’ The Sun
1925. The war is over and a new generation is coming of age, keen to put the trauma of the previous one behind them.
Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing whose life is dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure; to parties and drinking and staying just the right side of scandal. Lawrence Weston is a struggling artist, desperate to escape the poverty of his upbringing and make something of himself. When their worlds collide one summer night, neither can resist the thrill of the forbidden, the lure of a love affair that they know cannot possibly last.
But there is a dark side to pleasure and a price to be paid for breaking the rules. By the end of that summer everything has changed.
A decade later, nine year old Alice is staying at Blackwood Hall with her distant grandparents, piecing together clues from her mother’s letters to discover the secrets of the past, the truth about the present, and hope for the future.
happy reading 🙂