American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue met during World War II and became spies for the Allies in Paris. Their ability to gain valuable information made them famous, earning them the name the Golden Doves. Their success made them a prime target for capture by the Nazis. When they were ultimately arrested, they were sent, with Arlette's young son Willie, to Ravensbrück, a concentration camp for women. Years later, Josie is working at Fort Bliss in Texas on Operation Paperclip, the Army's effort to bring former Nazi scientists overseas to prevent the Russians from using their expertise against the United States. Josie is given the assignment to track down Dr. Snow, whose experiments at Ravensbrück tortured and killed many women. Josie's mother was one of those women. At the same time, Arlette is working at a Paris cafe and has been searching for her son Willie, who was taken from her at the concentration camp. Arlette meets Luc Minau, who heads an organization that operates a home for children separated from their parents during the war and tries to locate relatives. Could Willie be there? She heads to French Guiana to find out. The two former spies end up reuniting to help one another in their searches.
Martha Hall Kelly became a must-read author in 2016 after her debut, Lilac Girls. She has not disappointed since. The Golden Doves is a beautifully written, well-researched book that explores a horrible time in history through rich, well-developed characters. From the horrors in Ravensbrück to the infuriating efforts to protect Nazis after the war and hide them in South America, this is a stirring book. At over 500 pages, prepare to be submerged into a complex story that takes some time developing but is well worth the journey.
Many thanks to Ballantine Books | Random House for the advance. If you are a historical fiction fan, I can't recommend this book enough.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: April 18, 2023.
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