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|Title: The London Restoration|
By: Rachel McMillan
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2020
|Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 (inches)|
Weight: 10 ounces
Stock No: WW23502X
The secrets that might save a nation could shatter a marriage.
Madly in love, Diana Foyle and Brent Somerville married in London as the bombs of World War II dropped on their beloved city. Without time for a honeymoon, the couple spent the next four years apart. Diana, an architectural historian, took a top-secret intelligence post at Bletchley Park. Brent, a professor of theology at Kings College, believed his wife was working for the Foreign Office as a translator when he was injured in an attack on the European front.
Now that the war is over, the Somervilles long-anticipated reunion is strained by everything they cannot speak of. Dianas extensive knowledge of Londons churches could help bring down a Russian agent named Eternity. Shes eager to help MI6 thwart Communist efforts to start a new war, but because of the Official Secrets Act, Diana cant tell Brent the truth about her work.
Determined to save their marriage and rebuild the city they call home, Diana and Brents love is put to the ultimate test as they navigate the rubble of war and the ruins of broken trust.
Rachel McMillan is the author of The London Restoration, The Mozart Code, the Herringford and Watts mysteries, the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries, and the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. She is also the author of Dream, Plan, Go: A Travel Guide to Inspire Independent Adventure. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her online at rachelmcmillan.net; Instagram: @rachkmc; Facebook: @rachkmc1; Twitter: @rachkmc; Pinterest: @rachkmc.
Author: Rachel McMillan
Located in: Toronto, Canada
Submitted: June 24, 2020
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a writer and literary agent based in Toronto Canada. I am the author of the Herringford and Watts series, The Van Buren and DeLuca series, the Three Quarter Time series as well as a few non-fiction books including Dream Plan and Go: A Travel Guide for Independent Adventure (Harvest House) and A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide (Harvest House). The London Restoration is my first historical romance. I travel extensively for research in hopes that my readers feel transported to the places I am writing about.
What was your motivation behind this project? I hadn't intended on writing this period (post war with WWII flashbacks at all) but I was in London on holiday a few years back and though I had spent time there before, had never been to one of the oldest churches in the city: St. Bartholomew the Great in West Smithfield. It's not too far from St. Paul's and some of the other Christopher Wren designed churches. The moment I stepped into that ancient almost 1000 year old church something overcame me. I remember sitting in awe looking around and learning about this church that had withstood Henry VIII dissolution of the monasteries centuries ago, the Great Fire of 1666,that had survived the zeppelins of the Great War and evaded the bombs of the Blitz. I left that church immediately went to a cafe and began writing. I knew I *had* to write about these churches. The fantastic theme of Matthew 16:18 where the powers of hell will not prevail. Then, I spent time researching the restoration of the churches after the Blitz, the Wren-designed churches being a favourite and learning how the bombs unearthed relics and rarities. What if I paired a hero who taught the theology of the early church with an architectural historian obsessed with the concrete building of Christ's church on earth. I went back to London specifically to research churches for this project and to spend time at Bletchley Park ( which features in the story)
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I have always loved the history of the church, hymns and hymnody and the music that was created to glorify God through the centuries. I hope that readers learn to appreciate the architects and craftsmen and stonemasons who spent their entire lives working on great cathedrals knowing they would never see the end result. I hope they learn about the steadfast resiliency of Londoners who, at Churchill's decree, were ordered to keep St. Paul's throughout bomb raids and protect it at whatever cost. Volunteers risked their lives to keep water and hoses near the cathedral so it would withstand the German assaults. Wherever you are, church is at the centre of a community.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I really felt that experience at St. Bartholomew's church when I was so inspired was a moment of conviction. I have always been passionate about churches and church architecture and it was almost a nudge to share that with readers to hopefully inspire them to look at how Christ's church prevails: through bombs and fires. I remember watching another church (Notre Dame in Paris--which is a theme in my Van Buren and DeLuca series) burn live on television last year and thinking how quickly we can lose history from a past millennium and how we must not take for granted the beauty that our religion has wrought in story, song, art and structure since Paul's time.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? A major influence for The London Restoration was the novel High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin. After reading that wonderfully told and atmospheric story about a pilot who crashes in Brussels and is tended to by his wife who long thought he was dead, I knew I wanted to write a romance about reconciliation. I was just waiting for the right subject and somehow Bletchley Park, Christopher Wren Churches, the early years of the Cold War and the Blitz was the right canvas.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: My next historical romance ( May 2021, Thomas Nelson) called the Mozart Code features gorgeous churches in Vienna and Prague and also inspires readers by featuring some of Mozart's famous religious works including the Requiem and the Mass in C Minor.
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