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Publisher's Summary

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.

  • A stand-alone split-time novel
  • Partially epistolary: The historical storyline is told through letters and journals.
  • Book length: approximately 102,000 words
     
©2021 Katherine Reay (P)2021 Thomas Nelson

Critic Reviews

“Carefully researched, emotionally hewn, and written with a sure hand, The London House is a tantalizing tale of deeply held secrets, heartbreak, redemption, and the enduring way that family can both hurt and heal us. I enjoyed it thoroughly.” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times best-selling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars and The Book of Lost Names)

“An expertly researched and marvelously paced treatise on the many variants of courage and loyalty.... Arresting historical fiction destined to thrill fans of Erica Roebuck and Pam Jenoff.” (Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration and The Mozart Code)

What listeners say about The London House

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

interesting plot line

i loved it, WWII history, family relationships and a love story... it was well nariated too... what history buff could ask for more

3 people found this helpful

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An richly layered story of family secrets

From page one I was instantly swept into this mesmerizing story of one woman’s search for truth to secrets that have haunted her family for decades.

Katherine Reay is a stunning storyteller who brings the characters and settings to life in such a vivid way you nearly believe you can meet them. I so want to visit The London House in real life.

Her writing is beautiful with a conversational flow and the depth of her historical research is apparent in the rich tapestry she has woven throughout the entire novel. I look forward to her next release!

The narration was great too.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping, stirring, riveting!

Katherine Reay has written an historical fiction so different from any other. I had to stop listening every once in a while to digest the storyline. Definitely a 5 star narration and story!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

The bones of the story were great

Realistic? No. Because I can't buy into the fact that a grown woman boards a fight from New York to London with only a shoulder bag. she starts at least a week including a few days in Paris.

I mention this because it's meaningless and I didn't have to know about it. Why did the author mention the size of luggage and then never return to it in anyway? It only distracted me when it mentions the luxury restaurants and other places she visited. It made no sense.

The overall story, the genealogical adjective, the family history I enjoyed. The random mention of a visit to her brother that added nothing to the story was cluttery.

I also wrote reviews but this author could have done so much more with this. Having made my point, I think a young adult would be able to enjoy this. As a more mature reader it was just a bit too messy.