The Lost Girls of Paris

The Lost Girls of Paris

by Pam Jenoff

Overview: 1946, Manhattan --- Grace Healy 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.

Debbie Weiss (03/16/19): Grace Healy heads to work one day in Manhattan in 1946 and has to take a detour through Grand Central Station due to an automobile accident where a pedestrian is hit and is killed. She spies a suitcase in the station and opens it and finds photos of 12 young ladies. Intrigued, she takes the photos with her and begins a quest to determine who they are and why they were in the suitcase.

The story is historical fiction and deals with the SOE, a British wartime branch dedicated to sending agents to foreign countries to aid resistance groups against the Germans. There was a group of female agents that were recruited and trained to participate in this dangerous and very often deadly project.

I have had the pleasure of seeing the author, Pam Jenoff, speak at a few book festivals. I am impressed each time I see her. She is extremely bright, having a law degree and having worked for the US government oversees often dealing with holocaust-related issues. She spends extensive time doing research for her books so that they are as authentic as possible, while still being works of fiction.

I did enjoy this book a lot and I was interested in learning how women were so involved in WWII even though they were not fighting in hand-to-hand combat. They were dedicated and brave and were indispensable to the war effort.
Rating: ****

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