⇒Blog Tour: The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey – “It all started with the treasure hunt.” – The Glittering Hour ⇐
Author: Iona Grey
(4.31 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance
Publish Date: December 10, 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
Many thanks to the author and Thomas Dunne Books for providing a free galley of this book for my review. I received no monetary compensation and my thoughts are my own.
It may be silent and empty, but it has its store of treasures to be discovered and secrets waiting to be revealed…
Bad boys. Man-oh-man, do we love them! We love to watch them, to be close to them, to be near their electric energy. And when we can’t, we love to read about them. And they don’t have to even necessarily be “bad”, but just bad for us, or inappropriate, or unacceptable in some way. It makes them all the more enticing.
Heathcliff, Darcy, Lestat, even Rhett Butler – it’s the bad boys that put the zing into a romance, not the straight-laced, do-gooder that your parents always seem to prefer. It’s the motorcycle-riding, black leather-wearing, rock musician that your father despises (and your mother wishes your father was) that always gets your blood pumping.
Why am I talking about bad boys in this review of The Glittering Hour – a touching, romantic historic novel about self-discovery? Because one particular “bad boy” catches the eye of Selina Lennox, and everything she thinks she knows about life changes in an instant.
Here is the blurb: “Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.
Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what’s safe over what’s right.“
The relief of finding each other, of escaping, made them reckless, and they ran.
I began this review with a fun, frivolous draw into this novel, but it has so much more to recommend it than a dangerous liaison. The Glittering Hour is a thoughtful, touching, backward peek into a mother’s rollicking youth by a daughter who is hungry to really know her.
The magic of this book is in the dual timelines, knit together by a crafty treasure hunt through which Alice Carew is able to escape the drafty darkness of her grandparents’ home and enter the world her mother flourished in decades before as a Bright Young Thing, hounded by journalists and chastised by her prudish parent.
Yes, you have read the bad boy tale before (ok, maybe three dozen times), but this story has heart, and it is one that I could actually see moving onto the <gasp> big screen. With delicious imagery and beguiling characters in both timelines, it is not a story that one would forget easily.
You know I never like to give too much away about a book (Don’t you know you’re just supposed to trust me and either read it or skip it based solely on my Smell Rating?!). For some stories, the way the width and breadth of an epic tale unfolds only adds to the way it lingers in your mind afterwards. Its touching moments, its devastating conflicts, its sacrifices, and its celebrations build from chapter to chapter to create something unforgettable. And this is just such a book. Grab a flute of champagne, tie on a corset (or not), have a box of tissue handy (just in case), and read.this.book.
IONA GREY is the author of the award-winning Letters to the Lost. She 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.