I was really looking forward to reading The London House by Katherine Reay. I loved Dear Mr. Knightley and the premise of The London House sounded so good. I mean learning that your family history is a lie? That the aunt who you were named after and supposedly died at a young age may have not really died at a young age, but betrayed her family and country? Add in that it is partially an epistolary novel? Sign me up!
Sadly, I really struggled to get into this story and I had trouble connecting with the main characters. Things also seemed a bit confusing to me as I tried to piece things together. I am sure this well research story is one that many people will like. I just couldn’t get invested enough in the characters and their history. I was also disappointed that the faith thread was pretty much nonexistent which is unusual for Christian fiction
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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.