“An extraordinary profile of immense courage and daring.”—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Left Cuba
“If you only read one WWII book this year, make it this one."—Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Orphans
In the depths of war, she would defy the odds to help liberate a nation…a gripping historical novel based on the remarkable true story of World War II heroine Virginia Hall, from the bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl
France, March 1944. Virginia Hall wasn't like the other young society women back home in Baltimore—she never wanted the debutante ball or silk gloves. Instead, she traded a safe life for adventure in Europe, and when her beloved second home is thrust into the dark days of war, she leaps in headfirst.
Once she's recruited as an Allied spy, subverting the Nazis becomes her calling. But even the most cunning agent can be bested, and in wartime trusting the wrong person can prove fatal. Virginia is haunted every day by the betrayal that ravaged her first operation, and will do everything in her power to avenge the brave people she lost.
While her future is anything but certain, this time more than ever Virginia knows that failure is not an option. Especially when she discovers what—and whom—she's truly protecting.
Robuck (The House of Hawthorne) delivers an edge-of-the-seat WWII spy story based on the life of OSS agent Virginia Hall. In March 1944, the American operative slips into Nazi-occupied France to organize and arm a resistance group called the Maquis before the D-Day invasion. Ahead of her mission, Virginia, who has a prosthetic leg, is informed by her London-based handlers that her life expectancy is six weeks. Even so, she must be extra careful. The Germans have already distributed wanted posters for the "Limping Lady" and have been looking for her for two years, since the Lyon network she headed was betrayed by a double agent. Now, on her current mission, she has a score to settle with those who plotted to betray her. The Germans grow more vicious after D-Day, as Allied troops, with help from the Maquis, liberate French towns. Robuck vividly captures Virginia's internal struggle over her obligation to help win the war and her desire for revenge. Skillfully weaving events from the agent's past with the tension-filled days and nights of 1944, Robuck creates an indelible portrait of an unforgettable hero.
The Invisible Woman: A Deeper Understanding
The OSS interests me because my father was OSS during WW II operating in North Africa, Italy and Yugoslavia. He had 26 missions and was awarded three Bronze Stars. He would not talk about his service saying he did not want to relive that part of his life.
The little he did say included living with people that may or may not be on the same side; you never knew for sure and was always on edge.
Like Virginia, his mission was to organize and support local partisans with their efforts to resist the Nazis.
The author briefly mentions PTS, which had to be a consequence of the life these heroes endured. It certainly seemed to have been an issue in my childhood. My bet is the author would agree that this book is a lite version of the horrors faced on a daily basis by these agents and most individuals touched by WW II.
This book helped me to better understand life during those terrible times and the noble cause for which we united as a country and fought. It is an important understanding because we are not beyond repeating history!
Richard R. Kazmier