Tuesday 19 February 2019

The Light Over London

Finished Feb 5
The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

This novel has two timelines. As the book begins, Cara Hargraves meets her boss Jock at the house one of Jock's clients wants them to go through the contents of. This is a relatively new job for Cara, as she makes a new start on her life following her divorce. She's moved to the small town her grandmother lives in, and taken a job with an antique dealer. She's studying most evenings to learn about antiques and isn't really interested in a relationship yet. When she finds an old diary from World War II in a tin in the house, and the owner isn't interested, she asks to keep it to track down the story behind it and perhaps the family of the diary writer, and gets permission.
The second storyline follows the writer of the diary, Louise, a young woman from the country, aching to move away from the life her mother has planned for her. She has a dream of going far away and of studying math at university, but her family situation didn't allow her to go beyond high school. As the diary begins she meets a man at a dance and begins a relationship. This small step of independence gets her brave enough to make another move and enlist as a female volunteer in the ATS. After training she gets assigned to a position with the anti-aircraft guns.
Cara knows only the initials of the diary writer, and has a picture of her in uniform, recognizing it as the same uniform her grandmother wore in the war. This makes her curious about her grandmother's past as well, something her grandmother has always been reticent about. Cara finds that her new neighbour, a history professor, is helpful in her search, and she begins to come out of her post-divorce depression.
As we see both of the women take steps in their new lives, and find their way forward, with the help of friends, we also see Cara unravel a bit of her own past.
I enjoyed this book

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