The London House
Published by Harper Muse
Publication Date November 2, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Time Split, Clean Romance
Setting: England, France World War II Era - 1939 - 1946, Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
An uncovered family secret sets one woman on the journey of a lifetime through the history of Britain’s WWII spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris in an effort to understand her past, save her family, and claim her future.
One call could bring ruin to her family name.
Caroline Payne thinks it is just another day at work when she receives a call from Mat Hammon, a doctoral candidate, who has uncovered a dark and scandalous family secret: her British great-aunt defected to the Nazis to marry her German lover.
The letters tell a different story.
In search of answers, Caroline flies to London to search her grandmother’s diaries and her aunt’s letters. In them she discovers the “Waite girls” and a time of peace and luxury in the interwar years that is beyond anything she ever imagined. But the buoyant tone quickly changes as the sisters grow older, fall in love with the same man, and one leaves home to join the glamourous art scene of 1930s Paris—all amid the rumblings of war.
But history won’t let its secrets go so easily.
The more Caroline learns, the more questions she has. Together Caroline and Mat work to dig out answers, uncovering stories of spies and love, of family rifts, and of one fateful evening in 1941. Will the truth they uncover heal the decades-old family wounds, or will they tear the family even further apart?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Author Katherine Reay blends past and present with letters and action to bring us this fascinating tale of one woman’s search for truth.
I loved the parallels made between the cancer Caroline’s father refused to fight and the secrets and shame that ate away at the soul of their family. His refusal to acknowledge the grief this family experienced allowed it to fester.
I found myself immersed in the letters from Caro and Margaret’s diary. The way they revealed glimpses of the truth was enthralling. It was also interesting to learn of the various ways Mat found to research public records.
The London House is my first by this author, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. While there were a handful of mild curse words scattered throughout, they were not overdone. One letter hinted at some steamy relationship but it cut off before revealing any details, keeping things at comfortable level of clean. Caro’s mysterious disappearance generated mild suspense with hints of evil implicating the Germans. The overall tone was sadness with glimmers of hope for better things to come.
Readers who enjoy historical fiction will want to be sure to read The London House!