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Summary

From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes an epic tale of love, passion and heartbreak.

Love is as uncertain and as untamable 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.

©2014 Barbara Erskine (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

Praise for Barbara Erskine:

"Her forte is mood, atmosphere and the toe-curling frisson" (Elizabeth Buchan, Sunday Times)
"Barbara Erskine's storytelling talent is undeniable" (The Times)
"Marvellous escapist stuff" (Woman and Home)

What listeners say about The Darkest Hour

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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loved it.................

I absolutely loved this book. I have never listened to anything by this author before, but found the story totally engrossing, I really didnt want to stop listening. The story is full of twists and turns, I loved the idea of the present day researcher uncovering the past, and the stories of folks long past. Its not perhaps great literature, but it was a really good story, well told and the 1940's 'Britain at war' setting gave the story a great back drop. There were bits of the narration that I found a little bit irritating, particularly what i thought was an overdone "camp" character, but as I got more involved in the story this faded in significance.
20 plus glorious hours of story telling, I was tempted to call in sick just to hear the end......

14 people found this helpful

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Could not stop listening ..

If you could sum up The Darkest Hour in three words, what would they be?

Great story, atmospheric..

What did you like best about this story?

Don't really like supernatural..but Barbara Erskine makes you believe..

What does Sandra Duncan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Excellent narration, accents..

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Enjoyed all..

Any additional comments?

Having read Lady of Hay..was reluctant to try any more from Barbara Erskine as that was wonderful and did not think any thing could be so good. However, this held my attention from beginning to end and even though the end may have been a bit predictable - could not wait to hear the outcome. I would definitely buy Lady of Hay in audible form..but for some strange reason only available in abridged version. Having read the hardcopy, would not want to miss a sentence..come on audible don't short change us. Bring Lady of Hay out in its full unabridged glorious version....

9 people found this helpful

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Brilliant story and beautifully read!!!

What made the experience of listening to The Darkest Hour the most enjoyable?

The story actually pulls you in. you forget yourself.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Evelyn, I could feel her pain.

Have you listened to any of Sandra Duncan’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This was the first but never the last! She is wonderful.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Very emotional at times both happy and sad.

Any additional comments?

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, her very best!

6 people found this helpful

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A thrilling listen

Haven't read a Barbra Erskine book for many years but this was a real treat. More of a modern story to ones I have read before but enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

An amazing and captivating story, one of best, loved it, definitely recommended. Can’t wait for the next

2 people found this helpful

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Unputdownable!

Where does The Darkest Hour rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is currently joint favourite with another that is so different, it's not fair to compare.

What other book might you compare The Darkest Hour to, and why?

This is similar in formula to all Erskine's novels, but with a much more modern setting, even when the past is revisited.

What three words best describe Sandra Duncan’s performance?

Confident, competent, versatile

Any additional comments?

I was completely hooked into the story and listened whenever I could. The story unfolds slightly faster for the listener than it does for the characters, which is a very exciting technique. I have read most of Barbara Erskine's novels, and after Lady of Hay this is now my favourite. I was impressed to see that this time, her main protagonist doesn't allow the evil male character to send her mad or overwhelm her! I would recommend just about any of Erskine's novels if you enjoy history and supernatural nailbiters, with a dramatic climax and characters so well described that remembering the book is like remembering watching a film!

5 people found this helpful

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Truly dreadful

I have no idea how or why this author is so successful. The plot is so thin and the characters so one dimensional I listened with gritted teeth and curled toes. Had it not been the selection of my book club nothing would have induced me to finish it. The depiction of the pressure on young WWII pilots was the only part of mild interest. The rest of the story is so predictable and utterly silly it defies belief. The characters are so clichéd and rendered even more pantomime like by the ridiculous tone of the narrator who seems to have been recruited from the Home Service circa 1950. I realise that this review won’t find favour with the author’s afficianados but I can only speak as I find. I love audiobooks and discovering new ( for me) authors but this was a painful experience!

1 person found this helpful

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So poignant.

A book full of regrets about the past and things that happened, or didn't.

1 person found this helpful

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so spooky!

If you could sum up The Darkest Hour in three words, what would they be?

intriguing, dark, fascinating

Who was your favorite character and why?

Evie. Her true feelings weren't expressed in the book & I wanted to feel where she was taking her future all the time

Which scene did you most enjoy?

where all their spirits amassed at the end

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

lose yourself in the mystery & atmosphere of passing generations

Any additional comments?

can't wait to read another Barbara Erskine

3 people found this helpful

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Not my usual choice of book ...

..... but my goodness I enjoyed it. Well worth a credit and while cheesy in parts, I really did enjoy the escapism that this book offered.