BY RACHEL MCMILLAN
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction
From author Rachel McMillan comes a richly researched historical romance that takes place in post-World War II London and features a strong female lead.
Determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II’s secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world.
London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville’s experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London’s churches intersect in MI6’s pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance.
Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.
Featuring a timeless love story bolstered by flashbacks and the excavation of a priceless Roman artifact, The London Restoration is a richly atmospheric look at post-war London as two people changed by war rebuild amidst the city’s reconstruction.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
During World War II Diana Foyle and Brent Sommerville are hastily married before Brent ships out as a stretcher bearer. While Brent is away, Diana wants to do anything to help bring him back safely. With her experience in architectural history and her specific love of Christopher Wren churches, Diana is recruited as a codebreaker for Bletchley Park M16. All of her work there is classified and when Diana discovers that Brent has returned from the war and is injured, she needs to put off their reunion for another five weeks while she completes a task. Finally reunited, Diana and Brent are both changed from their experiences during the war and neither of them can talk about it. Diana still has a special task to complete: to find an agent named Eternity who is using Diana's favorite churches as rendezvous points. Diana is determined to finish the job, but her involvement places Brent in danger alongside her.
Set in Post World War II London, The London Restoration explores the devastated churches that were bombed during the war as well as the effects of war on relationships. Through Diana's eyes and her unique love of architecture I was able to envision, not only what was left of the churches, but the beauty they still held. Diana's work at Bletchley Park opened my eyes to another important role that women held during World War II intercepting messages and breaking codes that were sent directly to the Allies. In addition, the women were not allowed to talk about their roles in any capacity. The writing bounces back and forth between Diana and Brent's experiences during the War and 1945, when they are both battling inner demons as well as Eternity. While understanding what each character went through during their time apart is pivotal to the story, the transitions in time felt a little clunky to me and sometimes I had to backtrack to see if I was reading about the character's past or present. Brent's experience during the War adds another layer to the secrets being kept as well as an important reminder of the mental health of Veterans. The hunt for Eternity, the artifacts and codes kept my interest level up and the suspense heightened. However, at the heart of the story is a marriage; and how secrets can change the marriage, but trust can make it stronger.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her next work of historical fiction, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 and takes readers deep into the heart of London’s most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.
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