Sunday 19 January 2020

Book Review: The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner #BRPreview

The Daughter of Victory Lights
Kerri Turner

Publisher: Harlequin Australia 
Imprint: HQ Fiction
Publication date: 20th January 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
RRP: $29.99AUD
Format read: Paperback proof copy
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Better Reading


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 risqu� 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 do 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?

Told in two parts, Turner weaves a tragic and heartfelt story. She first brings the reader right into the midst of the war when Evelyn Bell, wishing to do her part for the war effort, signs up to an all-female search light regiment, a job that needs precision and nerves of steel as the lights search out enemy planes. The story moves on to post war dramas of PTSD, disconnection and unemployment. After the war Evelyn feels she could never settle for a life as someone’s wife and using her skills in lighting finds work aboard The Victory, a showboat featuring an eclectic array of performers, part cabaret, part burlesque, and part water ballet. Turner’s descriptions of the shows they preformed were spectacular and breathtaking. Evelyn changes her name to Evie, falls in love with Flynn and their story on board The Victory begins.

In the second part of the novel we are introduced to Lucy, a young girl, who is adopted by a family of ex performers. With themes of family and secrets this is a beautiful story of the magical healing power of a child’s love and acceptance. An underlying mystery of what happened to Evie runs through the second part of the book.

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.


My  rating  5/5

Photo Credit: HaperCollins Aus

Kerri Turner is a historical fiction author who lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and miniature schnauzer. She trained from a young age to become a ballerina, but life had other ideas for her. After gaining an Associate Degree (Dance) and Diploma of Publishing (Editing, Proofreading and Publishing), she combined her love of ballet, history and books to discover a passion for writing which far outweighed anything she'd done before. She still dances, passing on the joy of ballet to those who never got the chance to experience it—or thought their dancing years were behind them—by teaching adults-only and over-55s classes.

This review is part of the  Australian Women Writers challenge #AWW2020
the Booklover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and Passages to the Past Historical Fiction Challenge #2020HFReadingChallenge


  1. Great review I too loved this one

    have Fun


    1. Thank you Helen. It was an excellent read. I'm looking forward to the next book from Kerri Turner.

  2. A lovely review, I agree this was a wonderful read

    1. I'm glad you loved it too. I think this book will be a huge success.

  3. Wonderful story, isn't it! I love circus stories and that's why I was interested in this, really... the secret night-time show on a boat! How original ;)