A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war.
London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever.
London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’ enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’ haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal …
***Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.
enjoyable/easy to read:
2.5 stars, rounded up
This narrative took place in London but alternated between present day and the Blitz.
Eva and Precious are two struggling models, living and working together and quickly becoming best friends. Precious is an American immigrant and Eva is trying to escape her unsavoury rural upbringing. Eva is the protagonist here and London through her eyes is captivating; her attempts to reinvent herself are earnest and compelling, even if she may be naive to what is happening outside of her bubble. I really enjoyed this part of the story, even if at times I just wanted to shake Eva and tell her to just be honest with people! It seems a lot of hardship and heartbreak could have been avoided.
Maddie is interviewing Precious about her life’s work in fashion. She’s known Precious’ adoptive family since college, although it seems hard to believe she actually would hold on to any friendships for this long. Honestly, this was the most frustrating part of this storyline. The only people left in Maddie’s life are friends and family who don’t care that she refuses to visit or share information or let them all the way in. It seems incredibly unrealistic that anyone would still be trying to connect with her considering how many times she’s rebuffed their advances.
Overall, this was a fairly harmless story. It was a little too heavy-handed and overworked for me to truly enjoy it but I appreciated the attempt.