The Last Night in London
New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a captivating story of friendship, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day.
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 her friendship with Precious and everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever…
London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner, whose life has been marked by the tragic loss of her mother, travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie has been careful to close herself off to others, but in Precious she recognizes someone whose grief rivals her own—but unlike Maddie, Precious hasn’t allowed it to crush her. Maddie finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, her enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’s haunting past—a story of friendship, betrayal, and the unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
White expands on her Walton, Ga., universe (Falling Home) to spin a dual-timeline WWII romance spiced with murky identities, intrigue, and betrayal. In 2019, freelance journalist Maddie Warner, a Walton native, travels to London to research an article about wartime fashion. She interviews 99-year-old Jeanne "Precious" Dubose, a distant relative, who modeled in London and Paris during the war, and unexpectedly encounters Colin Eliot, a friend and almost-lover from her study abroad year at Oxford, whose family has known Precious for decades. Colin loves Maddie, but she initially resists a relationship, uncertain how he'd fit into her future, since she can't have children. In 1939, Precious's flatmate and fellow model Eva Harlow falls in love with handsome and wealthy Graham St. John and hides her lower-class background, prompting a German acquaintance of Graham's to blackmail Eva for information about Graham's new duties as an RAF pilot. Eva confides to no one, but after German bombs fall on London in October 1940, the truth of Eva's actions are exposed. The romance between Maddie and Colin unfolds with comfortable predictability as Maddie races to capture Precious's story, and White drops heavy clues throughout about the links between past and present. None of this, though, will prevent her fans from inhaling this page-turning story.
A very entertaining read
A Little Intrigue, A Little Romance, A Little Life’s Lesson
Complicated plot that jumps 80 years to trace the lives of two attractive blonde models. Their careers and friendships are disrupted by WWII and the blitz. Like all beautiful women of that period they meet attractive men who lead clandestine lives. Deception and coercion threatened the love of one couple. The soldier boyfriend is wounded and nursed to good health by the supposed best friend. The arrangement proved to be devastating. Flash forward and relatives of the prominent model are trying to put together a magazine retrospective of life in war torn London using the fashions and life stories of the women. An lavishly embroidered box purse holds secrets to the unveiling. Layer on top of the story an unresolved romantic relationship between a Southern journalist and an English accountant who are all trying to sort out their feeling while collecting material for a aVogue magazine article before the primary subject turns 100 There is humor, drama, historical information, plenty of Southern and English wisdom sayings. It delights and moves
A page turner
I was completely drawn in by the characters in this book