Review: The London House by Katherine Reay

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Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by Mary Elle

If you’re in the mood for family secrets woven into page-turning historical fiction, then you might want to read The London House by Katherine Reay.

This book is set in dual time periods and flip-flops back and forth between present day and the WWII years.

The London House by Katherine Reay

the london house katherine reay

The London House is the most recent book by Katherine Reay.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Katherine Reay, and in researching all of the books she’s written so far I find it interesting that this is her first venture into writing historical fiction. It appears that all of her previous books are contemporary romances. Fun, but very different from what you’ll find in The London House.

Synopsis of The London House by Katherine Reay

Caroline Payne has spent her life experiencing the fallout from some dark family secrets that no one in her family would talk about – not then, and not now. In fact, her family doesn’t talk to each other much. At least, not in any meaningful way.

Caroline is having just another normal day at work when she gets a call from Mat Hammond, a historian and old college friend of hers. Mat says he has uncovered a scandalous secret about Caroline’s great-aunt and something she did during the WWII years.

Caroline makes it her task to find out the truth about her family’s past. Even if it’s more shocking than she anticipates.

This rich historical novel from award-winning author Katherine Reay explores the enduring way that family can both hurt and heal us if we let them.

The London House by Katherine Reay – What I Liked

There are just so many things I liked about this book – where to start?

The first is the dual timeframe story. Set in the present day, the glamorous pre-war years of the 1930s, as well as the WWII years in France and England, the story unfolds during all of these time periods.

The story is partially in letters and journals between the characters set during the war years. I thought this format allowed me to get to know the characters writing the letters or journals (or being written to) even more than I would have without the letters. The letters and journals made me feel like I was somehow part of it as it was happening.

Any book with dark family secrets is almost always a hit with me, and this one didn’t disappoint. There were secrets and a bit of a mystery in the family that lasted right up until the end.

The London House – What I Didn’t Like

When I started the book, it took me a little while to understand what was happening and who the characters were when the story changed to a different timeframe. But that problem (not really a problem) didn’t last long!

There really is nothing else that I disliked about the book.

The London House – Read, ReRead or Reject?


The London House is definitely a recommended read as far as I’m concerned!

You can check out The London House by Katherine Reay along with all of her other books here on the Katherine Reay Amazon author page.

You can also explore more historical fiction if you’re in the mood for even more in this genre.

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