Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan

The London Restoration by [Rachel McMillan]
Book Summary

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan has Diana Somerville doing a favor for her old boss, Agent Simon Barre.  He is on the hunt for an elusive Soviet agent named Eternity who possesses a dangerous file.  Simon enlisted Diana’s help because of her eye for detail and extensive knowledge of church architecture.  Diana worked at Bletchley Park during the war breaking the enemies code, but this is not something she can discuss with her husband.  Brent suffered injuries at the end of the war, and he wonders why Diana could not be with him.  In the quest for Eternity, Diana will be visiting local churched under the guise of aiding reconstruction efforts.  Brent hopes that the time they spend together will help them.  The pair are awkward around each other.  Brent is dealing with PTSD and his injuries while Diana is afraid of spilling secrets.  Eternity does not wish to be caught which leads to some dangerous situations for Diana and Brent.  Will they succeed in capturing Eternity and the file he possesses?
St. Pauls Cathedral in London UK by Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor [3024 X 4032]
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
My Thoughts

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan is an illustrative historical novel.  Diana Somerville spent the war breaking code at Bletchley Park while her husband, Brent was a stretcher bearer in France.  Brent has no clue as to the type of work Diana accomplished, nor can she tell him thanks to the Official Secrets Act.  Brent saw terrible tragedies while serving in Europe.  He is suffering from PTSD as well as a scar on his face and finger damage.  Brent has nightmares, but he does not want to share his traumatic experiences with Diana.  They married just before Brent shipped out and have been apart the last four years.  This makes for an awkward reunion especially since Diana was gone for five weeks while Brent recovered and only told him she was doing a favor for a friend.  Rachel McMillan is a detail-oriented writer.  Her word imagery allows readers to visualize the scenes especially the beautiful churches plus I could felt I could hear the music.  I did feel, though, that this slowed down the pace of the book.  The story progressed at a snail’s pace (it is like walking through quicksand—you get no where fast).  There is a slight uptick in the second half. I never did understand Simon Barre’s obsession with Eternity.  I thought the characters lacked development.  From the beginning, it felt like I was dropped into the middle of an ongoing story.  There was more information on churches than the main characters.  Diana seems to care more for the churches than her husband and seems oblivious to what he is experiencing.  Brent comments often on Diana’s beauty (it got tiring).  I can tell the author did her research on churches, music, and Christopher Wren. The history and architecture of the churches is interesting, but it was overwhelming.  A little is good, too much has my attention wandering.  The book is set in 1945, but it also goes back in time to show us what Brent and Diana did during the war.  It could be confusing as to who was speaking and where they were at.  They visited many sites and they all started to blend together.  I would sit down my book and come back, and I would be completely lost.  I ended up skimming through the second half so I could see how The London Restoration ended.  I was unable to connect with this book despite my numerous attempts.  I did not feel that the author was successful with the meshing of history and mystery.  Those readers who like detail oriented historical fiction will enjoy The London Restoration.  
St Paul's Cathedral Choir looking east, London, UK - Diliff - St Paul's Cathedral - Wikipedia
St. Paul's Cathedral (interior)
The London Restoration is available from Amazon*.  You can find Rachel McMillan's other novels here.  If you like the sound of The London Restoration, I recommend obtaining a sample to see if this books suits you.  We all view books differently.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am reviewing Searching for Rose by Dana Becker.  I hope that you have a merry day. I am off to trim trees with my new battery operated pruner. Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Jean Frederic Schall

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