FICTION

Liberation

Grand Central. Apr. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781538733196. $27. F
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It’s 1943. France is firmly under Hitler’s thumb, but the French are fighting back in lightning-quick guerrilla raids. England helps by sending supplies and men—and one very formidable woman, Nancy Wake, who would go on to be one of the most-decorated women of World War II. Originally from Australia, she fled to New York when she turned 16, and from there, London and Paris, where she became a journalist. Disgusted by the anti-Semitism of the Nazis, she vowed to fight them by any means. So successful was she at escaping them, she was christened the “White Mouse.” Her band of raiders, along with similar bands all over France, played a part in the success of D-Day. This book is packed with authentic, realistic scenes, including moments of sheer terror. Though fictionalized, it captures the spirit of this amazing and intrepid woman, and the desperation and courage of the French freedom fighters.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy World War II fiction and stories of extraordinary women will savor this first collaboration between screenwriter Darby Kealey and novelist Imogen Robertson, which is slated to be a motion picture. Additionally, this novel is a good accompaniment to Wake’s 1986 memoir, The White Mouse.

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