“The London Restoration” by Rachel McMillan, Narrated by Hannah Curtis #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou


Architectural Historian Diana Somerville has been a code breaker at Bletchley Park during World War II. There she has met some interesting people that have been working for the government, ones that she would have not met otherwise. Now, in the 1945 London, the war is over and Diana has been requested to do something more for her country. Alas, she cannot speak of it as she is bound by the Official Secrets Act she has signed. This engagement of hers, keeps her from open conversations with her husband Brent, that has now returned from his service. She cannot share this information, unless MI6 allows her to.

Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, went to world and was met with all its mighty and sorrow. He lost a friend and witness some very difficult situations. Now that he is back, he wants to spend his days with his wife and get over his own trauma. He hopes his aiding with her church consultation will bring them closer and help him understand why she was away for five weeks when he needed her the most.

The two of them start visiting churches looking for what can be repaired and how, while at the same time they have their own agenda. Diana needs to find as much information as she can, with respect to a Russian agent called Eternity, so she can do what she was asked for and get done with it and eventually have more time to devote to her husband. Brent seems so distant some times and she knows that she is partly responsible for that. not letting him in on everything that has happened in her life during the war.  Another part is the war itself. Such events, as the World War II was, can change ones life for good. Both of them have been through experiences that have affected them greatly and Brent has been through some that don’t allow him to sleep peacefully. He is afraid he might hurt his beloved wife during one of his nightmares, so he prefers to sleep at the couch instead.

The book synopsis includes all the interesting part about the book, including MI6, Russian spies and covered work at a troublesome time. World War II always has great stories to tell or to inspire. It depends on the point of view. In this case, I felt that the author wanted to focus more on the social impact a war has and how it changes people. The focus point was how people can find each other after four years of separation because of war and come to think that this person that stands in front of them, the one that they fell in love with not that long ago, is something of a stranger. Which is a big truth, if I may say. The spying stuff was their just to spice things up and add to the background of Diana’s change.

Even so, I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The narrator did her best to create the atmosphere the author wanted, making it difficult to understand if this was about the restoration of London, or the restoration of Diana’s and Brent’s relationship.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to listen and review this audiobook.


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