espionage, France, Great Britain, secret service, underground movements, women spies, World War II 1939-1945
This is the true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, a leader in the French Resistance who worked with many spies in France and the UK. The book offers a lot of information about the Resistance and challenges some of the incorrect assumptions about the movement, particularly how women’s accomplishments were often overlooked. A great addition to the many books about France during World War II.
“A brilliant, cinematic biography of resistance leader Marie-Madeleine Fourcade . . . Olson’s weaving of Fourcade’s diary artfully and liberally into her own writing and her heart-stopping descriptions of Paris, escapes, and internecine warring create a narrative that’s as dramatic as a novel or a film. Olson honors Fourcade’s fight for freedom and her ‘refusal to be silenced’ with a gripping narrative that will thrill WWII history buffs.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Incredibly absorbing and long-overdue . . . This masterfully told true story reads like fiction and will appeal to readers who devour WWII thrillers à la Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A hell of a yarn . . . Why the heck have we never heard of [Marie-Madeleine] Fourcade? The only woman to lead a major French resistance network. A woman who in later life was elected to the European Parliament. And who, upon her death in 1989 at the age of seventy-nine, became the first woman to be granted a funeral at Les Invalides, the complex in central Paris where Napoleon Bonaparte and other French military heroes are buried. Olson posits a few possible reasons for Fourcade’s relegation to the footnotes of history. The inescapable one, though, circles back to where we began: her gender.”—The Washington Post