The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner: Your Preview Verdict

The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner: Your Preview Verdict

The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner is an enthralling historical fiction tale of family, love and finding your own way in the world. Our Preview readers especially loved Evie and Lucy’s different, but connected storylines, and the wonderful depictions of what family and love mean.

See some of their highlights here:

What a page turner of a book from start to finish, Book starts in 1941 London during the war to 1963 Isle Of Wight ( no spoilers) All the characters are amazing especially Evelyn Bell such a strong amazing woman loved this book – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars

This book was fantastic. As I turned the last page I was emotional that it had ended. The cast of characters from Evelyn and her sisters, to the members of The Victory made this novel a joy to read. Some characters I couldnt stand, but others I fell in love with. The overall story of Evelyn and eventually Lucy, had me thinking about it long after I had finished – Kirstie, WA, 5 stars

The Daughter of Victory Lights was a book I found myself getting completely lost in. From the first page I just wanted to keep reading. This story was so full of heart, the characters so lively and colourful. An unexpected turn left me shocked and almost disappointed, but the story evolved so graciously I found it anything but disappointing. I felt this was a story about freedom, and belonging in a world where it wasn’t acceptable to stand out. It was a real celebration of life and passion and the individuals that chose to be who they truly were in times of prosperity and in times of adversity. This book left me with a smile on my face, perhaps a tear in my eye, and that feeling you get when you finish a good book that you don’t really want to end. Also a desire to get my hands on Kerri Turner’s debut novel! A truly engaging read – Belinda, VIC, 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. This book is set in 2 parts. The first is through the eyes of Evie and the second by Evies daughter Lucy. This book is so rich and begins during World War 2. The story brought my to tears or so many occasions and really brought to light the struggles people went through during and post the war. The characters just leapt off the page. Kerri has the ability to talk through so many different themes such as love, loss, adjustment, gender inequality but it does it in such a way that you are able to feel with the characters as they tackle these hurdles in their life. Am recommending this to all my friends and family. What a great writer Kerri Turner is!! – Katarzyna, VIC, 5 stars

The Daughter of Victory Lights sheds some light on a little-known but very important job undertaken by women during World War II, while also highlighting the issues that plagued society after the conclusion of the war. Issues like women returning to their subservient roles in the household after taking on dangerous roles in war time; and men suffering post-traumatic stress from what they have seen and experienced during war. War fiction is my favourite genre, and this book certainly didn’t disappoint. The writing is expressive and takes the reader on a journey with the main character, Evie. Through the hazardous yet exhilarating war years where she was able to break free from her restrictive life as an unmarried young woman, into the post war years where she is able to utilise the skills she acquired in war time and transform her life into one of fun, excitement and challenge. The main characters of the book all have their own stories to tell, woven throughout the main storyline, and this just enhances the overall narrative. Certainly a book for those who enjoy war fiction and stories of strong, empowered women. I couldn’t put it down. – Christine, QLD, 5 stars

During the war, Evelyn Bell signed up to be part of an all-female search light regiment to protect London from German bombers. Post war she’s expected to return to her usual, and expected domestic life, but she cannot bear the thought. Serendipity saves her and she’s invited to use the skills she learned during the war and embark upon The Victory, a show on water with it’s interesting and risqué performers and crew. She gains her freedom and lives an unconventional life but a good one and she’s independent and more importantly, loves what she does. **redacted due to potential spoilers** This is a story about achieving the impossible, chasing your dreams and finding love in places you least expect it. I was so heavily invested in Evie and Flynn and the cast aboard The Victory that the pages turned easily and I just wanted to keep reading. Kerri Turner has written a raw, emotional and beautiful story filled with poetic prose, it’s completely engrossing. I adored it. Congratulations to the author and thank you to Better Reading for my review copy. – Leanne, QLD, 5 stars

How many wrongs does it take to make a right? Having worked in the war, Evelyn could be seen as independent and certainly very capable. Moving away from her sisters, Evelyn is offered a job on a vessel, ‘Victory’. **redacted due to potential spoilers** Evie is left no longer responsible for only her life, but the life of others. Where would she go now? Who would want her after the truth leaks out? – Chloe, VIC, 5 stars

Absolutely beautifully written. Kerri Turner takes you on a emotionally driven ride through post war Britain. The characters trying to reclaim their lives in a post war world that will never be the same. A meticulously researched historical novel which will enchant readers and leave them desperately wanting more. – Dianne, SA, 5 stars

The Daughter of Victory Lights had me hooked from the first paragraph. Lovers of historical fiction have found a new author! – Rachel, QLD, 5 stars

During WW2 Evelyn has the dull option of knitting for the war effort or being accepted into the all-female Newark Experiment. Fiercely independent and intelligent, and much to the disdain of her older sister, she embraces the dangerous life and teamwork of these women who operate searchlights to help stop the Luftwaffe bombing England. But the end of hostilities marks the expectation of women’s return to a life of domestic drudgery. England is celebrating after the drab and blackout years of the war, and Evelyn attends an adult-only performance held on a boat, The Victory. Full of colour and light, the popular spectacular is regarded by some as unseemly, flouting censorship laws but for Evelyn it’s a sparkling dream. A damaged searchlight being delivered to the Victory by crewman Flynn and fire-eating performer Alvin, reignites Evelyn’s passion for lighting and leads to an offer of employment. It serves as a symbol of those who were damaged by wartime experiences, but are looking to a brighter future. Americans Flynn and Alvin had both worked in graves registration during the war, identifying and burying the dead. They shared horrific experiences and cigarettes, crossing the colour line during the period of military segregation. On the Victory they are accepted into the kinship. Evelyn is banished by her scandalised sisters, but in the embrace of the Victory family she transforms into the loved Evie forging her place without the strictures of the mundane. She is befriended by the larger than life Bee, and the eye-patch wearing boat owner Humphrey, who both have found their place in this buoyant world. **redacted due to potential spoilers** In ‘The Daughter of Victory Lights’ Kerri Turner shows how only the love of true family has the power to heal, and I fell in love with the members of this unconventional family. – Anita, QLD, 5 stars

A captivating story during periods of changes to many lives that are not planned. A real page turner for me till the end. – Laraine, QLD, 5 stars

I couldn’t put this book down as I wanted to keep reading and finding out more about Flynn and Evie’s relationship and how it ended up. I found this a different type of ‘war’ story than any other I have read previously and it was easy to become invested in all the characters (especially Bee). I highly recommend The Daughter of Victory Lights – Natalie, NSW, 5 stars

A really enjoyable story in two interconnected halves. The first, a beginning, with characters being introduced, relationships developed and life lived. There was wonder, excitement and details of a time passed but always remembered. The second, a return, years later, where outcomes are reached and life is lived again. It bought smiles and tears in equal parts, with less historical but more real person detail. I really liked this story and Kerri Turner is an author I can’t wait to read again. – Jodie, WA, 5 stars

So many people must have felt lost and disconnected after the hideous trauma and intense experience of war, and Kerri Turner’s The Daughter of Victory Lights is a fascinating exploration of how two people – Evelyn and Flynn – cope in the aftermath. Two storylines from different times are skilfully interwoven in this beautiful book that effortlessly transports the reader in both time and place. Historical fiction at its best! – Imogen, VIC, 5 stars

What an amazing author our very own Kerri Turner is. She has a great ability to make you fall in love with all the characters in the story right from their introduction. Her storylines are deep and well developed, they flow and weave incredibly well drawing you right into the heart of the story. The story makes you feel like you know all the characters so well, their quirks, loves, hates so well written that you just bond with them and want to know more and more about them and their adventures. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading The Daughter of Victory Lights and was instantly hooked!. I formed an emotional connection with Evie, being ex Air Force myself, I loved her passion and determination to the WW2 cause and loved learning about the Women’s Searchlight Regiment. Kerri told this part beautifully and you really felt like you were there with them, you felt their loss and their triumphs. I especially loved how Kerri showed the aftermath of WW2, not just by the destruction of the buildings and cities but how those were involved like Evie, Flynn and Alvin, missed their roles within war time and felt disconnected from life post war until they all met each other. I had never thought about that in a real life situation so it made me very thoughtful about how those that go to war integrate back into society after seeing so much death and destruction. The story of these characters being involved in fighting and recovery in WW2 was intense and interesting. You could imagine yourself alongside Evie and the other girls manning the lights at night, and Flynn and Alvin on their recovery missions. Post war and life on The Victory sounded so wonderful, new ports, the excitement of the show, the family that the individuals found on that boat and their amazing and sometimes unexpected back stories was spellbinding! A colourful twist on life post WW2. Then comes Part 2. Wow this I did not expect or even see coming but I must admit it was a wonderful yet sad surprise and I think was the most emotional part of the story. Yes in Part 2 I shed more than enough tears, especially towards the end. I don’t want to share much about this because I feel it needs to surprise other readers but I will say that I wish there was a Part 3 so I could see all the adventures that the new character introduced in Part 2 would have! A highly recommended novel that is a very easy read, (3 nights for me) and I will read again and again over time. The story and characters are fresh, exciting, and lovable. I am now looking forward to reading Kerri’s debut novel The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers. – Jodi, QLD, 5 stars

It says a lot about a book, and the quality of the authors writing, when you find yourself having to put it down and walk away for a week or so because you don’t want to finish it. Kerri Turner’s ‘The Daughter of Victory Lights’ was that book for me. A compelling storyline told in two parts, it explores perspectives of the WWII period that I had never fully considered. Addressing the complex issues facing both women and men in post-war Britain, Turner presents historical facts in a personal, emotive way that makes them feel fresh and relevant to today’s audience; especially in the current #metoo climate. The writing of her characters connects with the reader on such a deep emotional level, that it is impossible for me to discuss any of them without betraying the crux of the story line through the sorrow or joy that would be evident within any description I attempt to craft of my favourites. I’m missing them all already, as I knew I would, and am already looking forward to Kerri Turner’s next release. Thank yo to Better Reading Australia and HQ Fiction for a free copy of this book for review. – Angela, VIC, 5 stars

The Daughter of Victory Lights is one of my favourite reads of the year – I absolutely loved this gorgeous book. In The Daughter of Victory Lights we meet Evelyn, who works as a searchlight operator during World War II. Post-war, Evelyn struggles with the idea of returning to civilian life, and the predictability of marriage, child-bearing, and house-keeping. One night, after seeing a spectacular, risqué cabaret performance aboard The Victory, Evelyn joins the show, seizing the chance for a life of excitement and unpredictability. Evelyn’s brave decision to trade a conventional, secure life for an unconventional one causes friction within her family. Aboard The Victory, however, Evelyn finds acceptance from the cast and crew, an eclectic group of characters who have their own secrets and reasons for joining the show. This aspect of the book really highlights the challenge of achieving a sense of belonging within the family you are born into, the family you create for yourself, and the family you collect along the way. The Daughter of Victory Lights is a compelling read, partly because of the amazing characters and beautiful writing, and partly due to the mystery surrounding what happened to Evelyn. I highly recommend this book. – Amanda, QLD, 5 stars

The Daughter of Victory Lights  by Kerrie Turner had it all – History, Entertainment, Love, Lows and Highs that I did not see coming – I simply LOVED this book that just got better and better as we went along.  Loveable characters that had me laughing and crying all in one sitting.  What I thought was going to be an easy holiday read took me by surprise by the depth of Historical detail on such an interesting world as well as the effects of World War 2 on everyday civilians. The story of the Victory was compelling and very new to me, such an interesting time in history.  I am very keen now to read her debut novel which has been sitting in my TBR pile. – Debbie, VIC, 5 stars

The Daughter of Victory Lights is a beautiful, poignant and surprising tale. First, we follow Evelyn who finds herself on board the Victory looking for purpose in a post war world. What she finds is altogether unexpected, wonderful and challenging. We then follow Lucy, a young girl, who is welcomed into a family of ex-performers. Their secrets leave her wondering – about herself and the people she loves. I love love loved this book. I was hooked from the start. The characters are colorful, strong and unique (I particularly love Bee and Evelyn). The story is delightfully told, with rich details and unexpected twists and turns. I’ve been thinking, over the past few days, about why I loved this book so much (I don’t often fall in love with books so completely). Eventually, I came to think that this book is so magnificent because it is relatable, in some way, for all of us. We all have secrets. We are all looking for love, purpose or triumph. And sometimes, these things are hiding in the places we least expect. It is nice to find a book that captures these feelings so completely. I would not hesitate to recommend this book. – Laura, SA, 5 stars

The daughter of Victory Lights Turner weaves a tragic and heartfelt story bringing the reader right into the midst of WWII with air raids, bombs dropping and food rationing, then to the post war dramas of PTSD, employment and feelings of disconnection. I found The Daughter of Victory Lights to be an exquisite story, thoroughly researched and vividly described. Turner’s characters are strong passionate and delightfully interesting. I love Historical Fiction and it is such a thrill to find something unique and original. The Daughter of Victory Lights is wonderfully immersive. Highly recommended! – Veronica, NSW, 5 stars

What a beautiful piece of storytelling. Through the writing, I really felt like I knew the characters and became very invested in their stories. A great read. – Janelle, NSW, 5 stars

I took a step back in time when I began this novel. It is so beautifully written. My heart was captured by every page and I couldn’t sleep until I had finished. The Daughter of Victory Lights is an unforgettable novel that leaves you wanting more. – Aleisha, QLD, 5 stars


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            Publisher details

            The Daughter of Victory Lights
            Kerri Turner
            Australian Fiction, Mystery
            20 January, 2020


            An enthralling story of one woman's determined grab for freedom after WW2 from a talented new Australian voice.'PART CABARET, PART BURLESQUE, AND LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE! GENTLEMEN, AND LADIES IF YOU'VE DARED TO COME, WELCOME TO ...'There was a pause, and Evelyn sensed those around her leaning forward in anticipation.'THE VICTORY!'1945: After the thrill and danger of volunteering in an all-female searchlight regiment protecting Londoners from German bombers overhead, Evelyn Bell is secretly dismayed to be sent back to her rigid domestic life when the war is over. But then she comes across a secret night-time show, hidden from the law on a boat in the middle of the Thames. Entranced by the risque and lively performance, she grabs the opportunity to join the misfit crew and escape her dreary future.At first the Victory travels from port to port to raucous applause, but as the shows get bigger and bigger, so too does the risks the performers are driven to take, as well as the growing emotional complications among the crew. Until one desperate night ...1963: Lucy, an unloved and unwanted little girl, is rescued by a mysterious stranger who says he knows her mother. On the Isle of Wight, Lucy is welcomed into an eclectic family of ex-performers. She is showered with kindness and love, but gradually it becomes clear that there are secrets they refuse to share. Who is Evelyn Bell?
            Kerri Turner
            About the author

            Kerri Turner

            The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers, my debut novel, is being released by HQ Fiction in January 2019.A second historical fiction novel, The Daughter of Victory Lights, is scheduled for release in early 2020.​In 2017 I signed with literary agent Haylee Nash of The Nash Agency. In prior years, my short stories have been published by Reflex Fiction, Boolarong Press, Catchfire Press, Stringybark, Underground Writers, and as part of the Dangerous Women Project.My author influences include (but are not limited to) Kate Forsyth, Sara Gruen, Belinda Alexandra, Hazel Gaynor, Ken Follett, Eli Brown, and Kate Morton. I also have a special fondness for Lorna Hill, particularly her 'Sadler's Wells' series, which I have collected since childhood.When not writing or reading, I can usually be found teaching ballet and tap dancing, baking sweet treats, or spending time with my husband and my miniature schnauzer Nelson.​​​

            Books by Kerri Turner


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