The Only Light In London by Lily Graham

Lighting Each Other Up

The Only Light In London by Lily Graham is a powerful historical novel that consumed me.

The action begins in 1939 in both London, and eight months earlier in Berlin. It was a terrifying time to be Jewish and living in Nazi Germany. We drop in on a family and see the difficulties they face as they try to flee the country. They become a family divided.

We see the bravery of a twelve year old girl. “They don’t have the right to make me feel I’m worth less than them just because I’m a Jew.” She shows incredible courage. Though her body is limited as to where she can go, her mind is free because she refuses to let the Nazis take her mind captive.

In London we witness the fear of the population sheltering from the bombs, in the underground. “They were like small boats battling the fear in waves.” The people lift each other up, raising the spirits of those who are afraid.

It is always good to have something to focus on. We see a newly formed drama group who need enthusiasm and not talent, to join it. This is a place where those on the outskirts of society find a place to belong.

Friendship forms in times of war. There is fear when loved ones sign up to fight. Others leave London, for the (hopeful) safety of the countryside.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Only Light In London. It was a powerful read, grounded in facts. I will leave you with my favourite quote

“Knowing there’s light gives us strength to face the darkness.”

I received a free copy from the publishers. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


Book Description:

She took him in when no one else would. She didn’t expect to fall in love…

London 1939. As war casts a dark shadow in his homeland Germany, journalist Sebastien wanders the grey fog-filled streets. His heart breaks as he remembers his hurried goodbye to his mother and sister. But even if everyone in London looks at him with suspicion in their eyes, he knows he made the right choice. It was the only way to keep his family safe from the Nazis hunting him…

When he sees a notice for a lodger in a pretty house on a cobbled street, he doesn’t allow hope to flare within him. He’s been rejected at every door he’s knocked on. But when Finley, with her warm brown eyes and sparkling smile, agrees to rent him the room, he allows himself to see a chink of light in the darkness. And as they grow closer over cups of cocoa in the cosy kitchen, love begins to develop.

Sebastien knows that he can’t stay hidden in Finley’s warmth forever though. He has to join the fight. It’s the only way to save his family and put a stop to the horrors in the country he once called home. When he leaves, they promise to keep their hope and love alive.

But Finley has something that she hasn’t been able to tell Sebastien; something that makes her life alone in the city all the more dangerous. And as the bombs rain down in London, and Sebastien risks his life in France, will she ever get the chance to share her secret with him?

A completely life-affirming and tear-jerking read about love, friendship and being a light for those who need to brave the dark. Fans of The Nightingale and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society will fall in love with The Only Light in London.

Author Bio:

Lily has been telling stories since she was a child, starting with her imaginary rabbit, Stephanus, and their adventures in the enchanted peach tree in her garden, which she envisioned as a magical portal to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. She’s never really got out of the habit of making things up, and still thinks of Stephanus rather fondly.

She lives with her husband and her English bulldog, Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

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Storyfire Ltd
Carmelite House
50 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DZ

Storyfire Limited, a member of Hachette UK Group, registered in England and Wales under company no. 7893911

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