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Why I love it
"You're so scared of death that you're meeting it halfway.”
How much I love a book is directly proportional to how hard it can wrench my heart. As such, The Glittering Hour dazzles on my 2019 favorites list—I solidly sobbed my way through the last third of it. I hadn’t seen it coming; the book builds gradually, and the quiet poignancies and understated elegance of the prose snuck up on me, then pounced at the twist.
Selina Lennox is young, aristocratic, beautiful, and living it up in 1920s London. Most of all, she is afraid. When a dead cat makes her cross paths with Lawrence Weston, a talented but impoverished photographer, their connection is instant. Lawrence's keen eye looks past the glitter, and during their stolen hours, attraction grows into the kind of love you can never fully shake again. But while the position of the upper classes is crumbling in step with the walls of their damp mansions, the old etiquette persists, and eventually, Selina has to choose between her heart and her head.
The Glittering Hour feels drenched in longing: for loved ones who are gone, for now fading pre-war glory, for permanency amid the fragility we must navigate every day. It forms the backdrop for one of my favorite conundrums: how to square a rare, raw passion with the ever-present desire for safety—including the safety of your heart. Iona Grey asks and answers with delicate and evocative lines sure to pull you in, too.
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.
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