November 6, 2013

Young spy in Paris

Violins of Autumn
by Amy McAuley

It's Paris, France in 1944. The world is at war and the Allies are about to invade at any moment. Helping the cause is 17-year-old Betty Sweeney, code name Adele Blanchard. A member of the Special Operations Executive, her mission is to deliver crucial messages for the French Resistance. A skilled liar, fluent in French and German, Adele soon finds herself training soldiers and sabotaging bridges. Yet the novel begins with a prologue in which Adele is tortured by the Germans. The main narrative describes the events leading up to her capture.

There are many tense and exciting moments, with close calls and compromised safe houses. These are balanced by scenes of friendship and romance, allowing the reader time for breath. Strong and courageous, Adele grows from teen to woman in the face of war's brutality.

A gripping and engaging read.

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