Author: Pam Jenoff
Publisher: Park Row
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
From the author of the runaway bestseller The Orphan’s Tale comes a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.
Grace Healey is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she 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 ring 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.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
The Lost Girls of Paris is one book that stays with you long after reading it. I don’t read very much historical fiction, however, when I saw that Pam Jenoff’s The Lost Girls of Paris was available for review, I jumped at the chance. Jenoff takes historical fiction to a new level with this novel about female spies during WWII. The characters are well-developed, the writing is bold, and the powerful females are exciting to read about.
It is hard to choose a favourite aspect of The Lost Girls of Paris to review. Although, I must say that I really loved the fierce female characters in the book. The story is told from the perspectives of 3 different women. There is Grace, who discovers the suitcase and photographs of the missing SOE women. Her actions are daring and determined. Also, Eleanor is a secretary for the SOE (Special Operations Executive in Britain) who becomes the leader of the female agents being trained. I found her to be a bit abrasive, but it fits with her position and title. Lastly, there is Marie, an agent who’s story of perseverance, skill, and hardship is sometimes terrifying to read.
Pam Jenoff’s previous novel, The Orphan’s Tale is an incredible story set during WWII, so I had a pretty good feeling that The Lost Girls of Paris would be just as well-written. Inspired by actual events, the story takes a little while to get going, but once it does, it becomes a really thrilling page turner. The dual-timeline switches between 1943 and 1946 (during and post WWII.) As Grace is uncovering details about who the girls in the pictures are, the story switches to Marie and Eleanor’s story. Everything eventually all comes to a head in a powerful climax.
It is so enjoyable to read a book about amazing women who are on the front lines during WWII. The intense training and camaraderie that Jenoff describes in the novel are fascinating. Some of the tools that the spies used and the method of using a radio to transmit messages are amazing and admirable. It took so much skill and knowledge for these SOE agents to code and decode messages.
If you enjoy a great spy novel, this is one book to try. The Lost Girls of Paris is a well-crafted novel that contains some fascinating females. I am really excited to read what Jenoff writes next!