Code Name Hélène Based on the thrilling true story of Nancy Wake, 'The White Mouse' by Ariel Lawhon

Nancy Wake was a shining heroine of the French Resistance, awarded many medals and a recipient of the greatest French honour.  Although she came from a poor background in NZ and Australia, she bluffed her way into a job in journalism in the UK by pretending to read ancient Egyptian, and then reported on the rise of the Nazis. She even interviewed Hitler! She married the charming and handsome Henri Fiocca, but she didn't want to become the bored wife of a wealthy man, and the war was calling. She began secretly helping British escapees, eventually becoming a leader of the Maquis and the famous 'White Mouse,' hunted by the Nazis...

Ariel Lawhon captures Nancy's brazen and courageous personality, and spins an exciting and moving story about her 'adventures' in the French Resistance, and her love affair and marriage with Henri.  The red-lipstick wearing young woman was widely admired by the men she led, and Lawhon's other characters (most of which are real) are also well-drawn and memorable, especially Ian Garrow.  His story would also make a good novel! I found the constant jumping back-and-forth between the past and the present a bit confusing at times, but this was a great novel, and an excellent tribute to Nancy. I found it difficult to read in ebook format, however, because it is such an epic novel. (I read all the biographies years ago, but I will probably read the Braddon one again!)

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.


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