A huge delight to be the stop today on the Blog Tour for the beautiful THE GLITTERING HOUR by IONA GREY. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and for putting the tour together, and letting me be part of it all!
17th October 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99
‘An epic story of joyous hedonism and desperate heartache. Just beautiful’ CATHERINE ISAAC
‘Stunning’ VERONICA HENRY
‘Gorgeously written … I loved it’ JILL MANSELL
‘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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Iona Grey has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with her husband and three daughters. She tweets @iona_grey.
A book that made time reading it fly by and totally transported me back in time and into the lives of Selina and Lawrence, who were from totally diffeent backgrounds but for one summer circumstances brought them together. And that Summer has big consequences for little Alice 10 years later, and it was mesmerizing to see what transpired through her eyes and the letters she uncovered.
In 1925 the war is over and Selina is living a footloose and fancy free life! She is on the ‘bright young things’ and her biggest struggles in life are deciding what to wear to the numerous parties she frequents! One of the parties she’s at is a treasure hunt party and while she’s out with her friends deciphering the clues, she finds herself taking care of an animal and gets help from Lawrence. He’s a struggling artist who is aware of who she is, but goes out of his way to help her that night and that kindness really strikes a chord with her and she can’t stop thinking about him. She finds herself spotting him at various exhibitions and parties and the more time they spend together, the more they find they can’t live without one another – despite it not being the done thing considering their backgrounds. Selina has never been one to follow the rules anyway so any chance she gets to spend time with him, she grabs it!
Fast forward 10 years and we follow the story of Alice, who is 10 and living with her grandparents at Blackwood Hall. Her life is one of being left alone, aloof grandparents and governesses, and she clings to the letters that her mother sends her while she’s away on business with her father. Her mother sets her a treasure hunt through the letters in the form of riddles to help her understand who she is and where she comes from as she gets to see the events of 1925 played out through memories of her mother.
The switching of timelines is perfectly played out throughout this story. And it really adds to the emotional aspect that runs from the first page to last. You can’t help but feel sad for Alice who is seemingly so alone and just wants the comfort of her family. The riddles she is set are wonderful for her inquisitive mind though and gives her hope that she’ll be back with her family soon.
Events of 1925 aren’t all fun and games though and it was so fascinating to see the light and dark aspects of what appeared to have been so glamorous and carefree. As more revelations of what happened over that summer and the years after come to light, I was enthralled to see just how the stories would resolve and didn’t realise just how emotionally I had become attached to Alice in her journey of discovery. Captivating!