Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The London House by Katherine Reay

 


Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britains 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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About The Author


 

Katherine Reay is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels and one work of nonfiction.

For her fiction, Katherine writes love letters to books, and her novels are saturated with what she calls the “world of books.” They are character driven stories that examine the past as a way to find one’s best way forward. In the words of The Bronte Plot’s Lucy Alling, Katherine writes of “that time when you don’t know where you’ll be, but you can’t stay as you are.”

Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, and after several moves across the globe, lives outside Chicago.

Please visit Katherine on social media, on FB at Katherinereaybooks, Instagram @katherinereay, or visit her website at www.katherinereay.com

 

My  Review



I loved how the author weaved the know facts of the missing sister, alleged to have died of polio as a child, we travel with Caroline Payne, the namesake of her long gone aunt to discover what really happened.
A lots of twists and turns here, and love the research that these characters do, as they put two and two together, starting first with letters and then diaries, and then traveling from England to France.
This is a WWII story, but oh so much more, and the sacrifices, and then betrayals, but are the facts correct.
The author did a fine job of weaving this story that puts us on the front in France, and what these people lived with. A few exciting and famous people, actual dresses that were really made, then then the article that would hurt her family. Loved the research that goes on, and thus we have Caroline Waite’s story, and Margarets, and of course, Georges!
I’ll be looking for more by this author!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Harper Muse, and was not required to give a positive review.

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