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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


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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Free sample

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

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.

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Member ratings (7,591)

  • Heather E.

    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.

  • Kirstyn W.

    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

  • kymberly i.

    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

  • Elizabeth B.

    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

  • Alli K.

    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