This is a very good historical fiction book about one of Churchill’s female SOE agents who works to sabotage the German military in Nazi-occupied France.
Rose works in Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, underneath Westminster’s Treasury building as a civilian secretary typing up confidential war reports. Her brother and parents were killed in the war and she is determined to do her part to defeat Hitler. When Churchill discovers Rose’s fluency in French, he recommends her for his secret SOE program. Rose, eager for a chance to play a bigger part in the war effort, jumps at the chance despite the risks.
She arrives in Paris with a cover as a traveling cosmetic saleswoman, ferrying messages between the British and French Resistance. There she meets Lazare, a French resistance fighter whose parents were sent to a German concentration camp and despises what has become of his beloved Paris. The duo risk their lives to disrupt the Nazi occupation of Paris, and endure extreme hardships in their quest to help defeat Germany.
I’ve read quite a few books about different aspects of WWII. This was a fast-paced and intriguing book that I really enjoyed reading. Rose is smart, loyal and capable. Despite her small stature, she is a force to be reckoned with and displays amazing bravery and fortitude. Instead of wallowing in despair at the loss of her family, she uses it as fuel to do whatever it takes to defeat Hitler. Her relationship with Lazare is sweet without being overly sentimental and the writer does a good job of depicting it as more than just lost souls seeking temporary comfort in the arms of a stranger. Some aspects of the book were hard to read, but I knew going in that any book about WWII is going to have parts that are uncomfortable to read. These portions weren’t so graphic as to be off-putting, but they helped paint the picture of the story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Kensington Books. All opinions are my own.