Wednesday 18 December 2019

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey @Iona_Grey @simonschusteruk @TeamBATC #TheGlitteringHour #BookReview

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. 

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey was published by Simon & Schuster in hardback on 30 May 2019. The paperback was published on 17 October.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review

This review was originally published in the Daily Express in November 2019 

This wonderfully written, evocative novel sweeps the reader back to the 1920s; the time of the Bright Young Things. The young, rich and reckless who devote their lives to pleasure.

Selina Lennox is one of the brightest of them. She comes from a well-known, wealthy family who disapprove of her antics. The regular columns in the newspapers; the photographs of her and her friends attending glittering parties and causing scandal along the way.

Lawrence Weston come from the other side of the tracks. He’s a struggling artist from a poor family, but finds himself on the fringes of the London social scene. When he and Selina meet unexpectedly one evening, this is the start of a long and tragic love affair that is doomed from the beginning.

Ten years later, young Alice has been sent to stay at Blackwood Manor; the family home of Selina’s family. She’s scared and neglected by her distant grandparents, and it’s only the intermittent letters that she receives from her mother that give her any joy in life.

This is an epic story of love and loss set amongst the glamour and glitz of 1920s London. The author’s ability to bring to life her characters is truly outstanding. Whilst on the surface, the life of the Bright Young Things appears to one of fun and privilege, the author cleverly incorporates the darker elements and the long-term effects of the Great War, giving the story great depth and emotion.

A beautiful love story; tender and captivating. A real treat for the reader.

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.

Twitter @Iona_Grey
Instagram @ionagrey

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