About the Book
Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britain’s World War II spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris to save her family’s reputation.
Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian. But pleasantries are cut short. Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried for decades: In World War II, Caroline’s British great-aunt betrayed family and country to marry her German lover.
Determined to find answers and save her family’s reputation, Caroline flies to her family’s ancestral home in London. She and Mat discover diaries and letters that reveal her grandmother and great-aunt were known as the “Waite sisters.” Popular and witty, they came of age during the interwar years, a time of peace and luxury filled with dances, jazz clubs, and romance. The buoyant tone of the correspondence soon yields to sadder revelations as the sisters grow apart, and one leaves home for the glittering fashion scene of Paris, despite rumblings of a coming world war.
Each letter brings more questions. Was Caroline’s great-aunt actually a traitor and Nazi collaborator, or is there a more complex truth buried in the past? Together, Caroline and Mat uncover stories of spies and secrets, love and heartbreak, and the events of one fateful evening in 1941 that changed everything.
In this rich historical novel from award-winning author Katherine Reay, a young woman is tasked with writing the next chapter of her family’s story. But Caroline must choose whether to embrace a love of her own and proceed with caution if her family’s decades-old wounds are to heal without tearing them even further apart.
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In My Opinion
Katherine Reay has built her author brand around her love of literature and while that’s still evident in The London House, it isn’t as prominent as it was in her previous book.
This isn’t the only departure from previous books by Reay as she’s writing more for the general market than the Christian fiction market. The book is a clean read with an emotional and moving plot, so don’t let the fact the author has shifted her focus to reach a wider audience deter you from picking up this book.
From the opening of the book, Caroline is someone I wanted to know more, and as she digs into the truth about her great aunt Caro, the parallels between the two women’s lives are obvious. The dual-time story line (expressed through letters and diaries) adds depth to the book.
Reay delves deep into family secrets, the weight of guilt, and the healing that occurs when truth is brought to light. The London House is a book that should definitely go on your list of books to read.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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