Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Julie's Review: The Lost Girls of Paris

Author: Pam Jenoff
Series: None
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Publisher: Park Row Books
Pages: 384
Obtained: Great Thoughts, Great Readers Book Salon
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Heroic women of World War II that I knew nothing about
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: 1946, Manhattan
One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station. Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a network of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal. Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

Review: I love how historical fiction authors find a nugget in their research and then write a novel about it. I also love that there is never a shortage of nuggets when it comes to history. Ms. Jenoff has a gem of a novel in The Lost Girls of Paris. I didn’t know but I’m not surprised that women were used in the field as radio transmitters in WWII. Ms. Jenoff uses this fact and writes a fantastic book about one of the groups in France.

The story unfolds when Grace finds an abandoned suitcase at Grand Central Station and keeps the photos that were in it. Something about those photos draw Grace in even though she's not sure what to do with them. She even tries to give them to the British Consulate but they act utterly uninterested. So she decides to figure out who they are.

We meet several of the girls as they are recruited, trained and then deployed. Most of their story is told through the eyes of Marie a single mom who was recruited and then sent to the field. I don't know about you but the type of training they went through I probably would have been sent home within a week. These women were tough as nails to decide to leave their families/lives behind to serve their country.

I loved how the story goes back and forth between Grace, Eleanor and Marie. They intersect beautifully so that you are excited to see how Grace figures it out. You are anxious to know what happens to Marie.

It is an utterly fascinating story that did make me use google. I highly recommend. This is only my 2nd Pam Jenoff book but it certainly won't be my last. 



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