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A Sarah’s Vignettes Book Review: The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey (@Iona_Grey) ~ @simonschusterUK

I am thrilled to be sharing my review of The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey with you today.

I won a paperback copy of this book in a giveaway last December on the author’s Instagram page. I am so pleased I finally got around to reading it as it is a brilliant book.

Before I share more of my thoughts with you, here is what The Glittering Hour is about.

~ From the back of 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. 

~ My thoughts ~

I am so in awe of this book that I feel that this review will not do it the justice it rightly deserves.

I spent most of Easter Saturday soaking up every delicious word of The Glittering Hour. It simply blew me away. It also left me with a book hangover – the inability to start a new book because you’re still in the world of the one you’ve just finished.

The reading hangover is testament to Iona Grey’s writing. I was transported into the story and the lives of the characters from the prologue. The prologue is powerful, left me wanting more and made me ask many questions – which were all answered by the end of the book. The paperback is just shy of 480 pages and I devoured it. It didn’t feel long at all. In fact, I wanted it to continue to find out what happened next, particularly with Alice.

I adored the characters of Selina and Lawrence and their story of forbidden love. Selina Lennox is a socialite and a Bright Young Thing. Lawrence Weston is a struggling artist and photographer. When their worlds collide one night in 1925, their lives will never be the same again.

There is a scene early on in the book where Lawrence looks at Selina for the first time and oh boy, it is beautiful. It’s a only a few sentences but the chemistry bouncing off of the page is intense.

The story goes between 1925 and 1935. It is intelligently constructed and flows seamlessly. The rich description allowed me to picture it all. I felt so involved with this story that I missed the characters when I had to put the book down and get back to real life.

I love a story that has a mystery solved and through letters between Alice and Selina, Alice goes on a journey to discover her mother’s past. The clues all centre around Blackwood, Selina’s family home, and the story slips back to 1925 and a summer at Blackwood Hall.

I loved Alice. I wanted to jump into the pages and scoop her up. Her grandmother is frosty towards her and shows no emotion.

Iona Grey took me on such an emotional and heartbreaking journey in The Glittering Hour that I feel like I am still getting over the effects of this book. She is a talented writer and I cannot believe that this is only her second published novel. Where will she take us next?

I loved everything about this book: it’s cover, it’s plot, the writing, the characters, the era, the heartbreaking love story. The Glittering Hour is the best love story I have ever read and is certainly one of my favourite books for 2020.

~ Where to find The Glittering Hour ~

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey was published in paperback and eBook by Simon & Schuster UK on October 17th 2019. It can be ordered from all good bookshops as well at Amazon UK and found on Goodreads.

~ About Iona Grey ~

Iona Grey

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 the rural North West of England with her husband and three daughters. She is the award-winning author of Letters to the Lost, and her new book The Glittering Hour is on sale October 17 2019 (UK) and December 10, 2019 (US).

*Author bio and photo from Goodreads

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