Friday, October 10, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Darkest Hour by Barbara Erskine

Title: The Darkest Hour
Author: Barbara Erskine
Genre: Historical/Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 3rd July 2014
Time: 20hrs 25mins
Narrator: Sandra Duncan
Book Source: Own audio

Synopsis: Love is as uncertain and as untameable as war…

In the summer of 1940, most eyes are focused on the skies above the South of England. The battle for Britain has just begun. But young Evie Lucas has eyes for no-one but a dashing young pilot called Tony. Evie has a glittering career as an artist ahead of her but seems to be wasting her time sketching endless portraits of Tony. She wants his parents to have something to remember him by in case it all goes wrong in the war…

Seventy years later, and recently widowed art historian Lucy is trying to put the pieces of her life back together. And in order to do that, Lucy needs to uncover the mystery surrounding a painting in her home. But as she accidentally ends up stirring up a hornet’s nest of history which has been deliberately obliterated, Lucy finds herself in danger from people past and present who have no intention of letting an untold truth ever surface.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed The Darkest Hour but it's far from my favourite Barbara Erskine. It's my first time listening to Sandra Duncan, she did a wonderful job with narration and I'd certainly pick up something narrated by her again. I didn't give the 20+ hours a thought when I bought The Darkest Hour, I was only interested in getting into the latest from one of my favourite authors but if I'm being honest, this one dragged at times.   

The plot moves effortlessly and distinctly between WWII the Battle of Britain and the present day as art historian Lucy Standish delves into war artist Evie Lucas's mysterious past and gathers research for her biography.  

The time-slip tale is something Barbara Erskine does  exceptionally well and I was interested in both Evie and Lucy's story. The descriptions of airfields, raids, the pilots and their planes were well researched and evocative so I really enjoyed those scenes. 

However, I much prefer Barbara Erskine's ancient history 'hauntings' to the ghostly premise in The Darkest Hour ... this one just didn't have the same tragic or sinister pull.  

Recommend: enjoyable but too easily put down.

Connect with Barbara Erskine


  1. ohhhhhhh I hate it when the book is too easy to set down :(

    1. A pretty good read but I expect a lot from Barbara Erskine so this was a little disappointing.

  2. Meh, I will read another one instead ;)

    1. lol B, I LOVE BE's work but this one didn't quite do it for me.

  3. That's a lot of time for a book that rated a 3.5, however sounds like you got some positives out of it - I haven't read anything by BE as far as I can remember, although may have years back. Not my usual type of book though.

    1. Lady of Hay, Kingdom of Shadows, Child of the Phoenix are amongst my all-time favourite reads. They're the ones I'd definitely recommend Kathryn. I just checked Goodreads, wow I've read 11 of her novels, I like her earlier work :)


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