I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the beautiful and moving The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey. Thank you to Anne Cater and Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read this unforgettable book.
About the book:
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.
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey is one of those books that’s difficult to review. How is it even possible to find the words to convey just how beautifully written and heartachingly moving this book is? I’ll do my best to put into words how much I loved this book, but suffice to say it absolutely took my breath away with the beauty held within its pages. A mesmerising read that I will never forget.
So much has been lost due to the war that all the new up and coming generation want to do is grab hold of life with both hands and put the trauma of the past firmly behind them. Selina and her friends dedicate their lives to the pursuit of pleasure, making the most of their youth and privilege as they party and drink their way through life, only just managing to stay on the right side of scandal.
The glamour and vibrancy of Selina Lennox’s life as a Bright Young Thing in the post war Britain of 1925 is portrayed so vividly I felt like I was actually there. Iona Grey captures this moment of time perfectly with her beautifully descriptive writing and manages to evoke a wonderful sense of time and place, making it easy to imagine just how exciting this golden era of the 20th century would have been to live through.
But then one night Selina’s world collides with that of Lawrence Weston, a struggling artist who is desperate to escape the poverty of his upbringing and make something of himself. There is an instant connection between the two and neither can resist the electrifying thrill of the forbidden, embarking on a love affair that is destined to change everything.
Eleven years later in 1936, nine year old Alice has been sent to stay with her foreboding grandparents at Blackwood House. Sad, lonely and desperately missing her mother, Alice tries to piece together clues from the letters her mother has sent her that will lead her to discover secrets from the past that have long been kept hidden. Along with Alice we begin to learn more about what happened that fateful summer as the story moves backwards and forward through time, telling the story of both Selina in 1925 and Alice in 1936.
I love stories that do this and Iona Grey does it exceptionally well here. I felt for Alice from the outset, her loneliness palpable as she tries to navigate her way around the large and foreboding Blackwood House, with very few people taking the time to comfort the young girl who is so far away from home and the mother she misses so much. There is a stark contrast between the vibrant days of the twenties and the world Alice finds herself in a decade later as yet another war looms upon the arisen. Alice’s eagerness to work out the clues her mother has set for her so she can feel closer to her made me feel desperately sad for her and my heart ached for her.
The Glittering Hour is a beautiful story of love and loss that ripped my heart in two. A captivating love story that is so achingly compelling and moving to read and with characters you can’t help but lose your heart to, this is a book that kept me enthralled from beginning to end. Easily one of my favourite reads of the year, it is a stunning, vibrant and emotive story that I would highly recommend.
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey is available to buy now: Amazon UK
Check out what these other lovely bloggers have to say about this remarkable book: