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All booksHistorical fictionThe Glittering Hour
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
Historical fiction

The Glittering Hour

by Iona Grey

Quick take

A love story that exposes 1920s high-society glamour for its haunting war-time memories and crushing family pressure.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_ForbiddenLove

    Forbidden love

Why I love it

Evie Dunmore
Author, A Rogue of One's Own

"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.

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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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Get an early look from the first pages of The Glittering Hour.

Member thoughts

All (6587)
All (6587)
Love (3225)
Like (2838)
Dislike (524)
6893 ratings
  • 47% Love
  • 41% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • Albion , NY

    I’m not gonna lie, this book ripped my heart into pieces. That’s the mark of a brilliant author though, isn’t it? To make you feel that deeply. Whether I was smiling or crying, I could’t put it down.

  • Conway , SC

    I absolutely ADORED this book. One I will read again and again. It made me laugh, cry, feel angry, all of the emotions. I was unsure when I picked it but I’m so glad I did. Read it, you won’t be sorry

  • Los Angeles, CA

    Didn’t think I would like it but I loved it from beginning to end I fell in love with all the characters I laughed I cried I wish I was in that time. I didn’t want it to end. Iona Grey is my new fave

  • corpus christi, TX

    This book instantly pulled me i. I have never cried so hard finishing a book. It is absolutely beautiful and thought provoking. A beautiful and devastating love story most people can relate to in someway

  • North miami beach, FL

    Even though the book had a sad ending my heart was happy. As I read the last page I hadn’t noticed how many tears I had cried. Thanks to Iona for writing this story with such love, it warmed my heart!

  • Tampa, FL

    This story is so beautiful & so sad. I couldn’t stop crying towards the end, but I think that also marks how good the author is. You feel it & want the outcome to be different, but it came full circle

  • San Antonio , TX

    A sweet tale of a mother’s true love and life to her daughter that she cares so much for. Though the ending is foreseen early in the book, you dive in to see how the child will come to understand it.

  • Eugene, OR

    I must say, wasn’t really expecting to like this book as much as I did. The shift into the third act was fantastic, and catapulted this from three to a solid four. It’s like a lighter Daniel Deronda

  • Lonedell, MO

    I cried. I was so wrapped up in the story and the romance. I figured out a key piece early on, but it didn’t take away from the story. In fact, I think we are meant to know sooner than the character.

  • Spencer, MA

    Oh my gosh. I don’t know why it took me so long to start this but it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Such an emotional and beautiful story. I will carry this story with me for a long time.

  • Union Springs, AL

    A dreamy place in time where a woman's place is blurry, and somehow it translates so we feel those blurry feelings—loss, love, life, death. Magic, surrealism, grief. We float along. We feel it all.

  • Chula Vista, CA

    Not the usual genre I enjoy reading but was drawn to the atmosphere of the 1920’s. Relationship between mother and daughter is noticeably pure. Beyond fulfilled by author’s technique and plot twist.

  • Tomball, TX

    I love all things 20’s so I was very excited for this book. The author does a great job placing beauty in the existence of simple pleasures. I felt transported to another era. Great characters as well

  • Charlotte, NC

    I’ll be honest - I didn’t fall in love with this book til the very end. It had a fast/slow cadence, but the end was perfectly timed. It was a beautifully sad story with an unexpected happy ending.

  • Cambridge, MA

    Absolutely loved this book. Read it in less than 5 days. Cared about the characters and their storylines so much it kept me up at night! Beautifully written. I could picture every scene. The romance!!

  • Cypress, TX

    While this book was a little slow, it was such a great story. The story of love lost and found again, of a mother's love. Even though I could see the ending coming, it wasn't any less heart wrenching.

  • Hamilton, IL

    Vividly detailed points of view and perspectives in the lives of each character I loved. It felt like I was there seeing it with my eyes. The flash forwards and backs left me intrigued. Very heartfelt

  • Roanoke Rapids, NC

    Ahhh, the magic of first love...this book truly transported me, and I was enamored with the characters, the setting, and the time period. Nostalgic, wistful, sad, but also hopeful-- LOVED this story!

  • San Jose, CA

    This book took me awhile to love. It wasn’t until around halfway through that I felt myself connecting to the characters, but by the end I had tears in my eyes and didn’t want their story to end!

  • Dallas, TX

    Though the beginning was slow, once the romance set in, it was an absolute DAZZLE. This book really played with my emotions and left me sobbing at its truly beautiful ending. A delicate, gorgeous tale

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