Virginia Hall was an American who courageously served as one of the top spies during World War II. She bravely worked with the United Kingdom's clandestine Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in France. It is gratifying that she is now getting the recognition she deserves. In Erika Robuck’s impressive historical fiction book The Invisible Woman, the story of Virginia Hall’s efforts towards the end of the war is told.
In early 1944, Hall travels to France to arm and train the resistance groups known as Marquis to support the Allied invasion of Normandy. She is disguised as an older woman as she is being hunted by the Nazis with her face plastered on wanted posters. Having lost part of her leg in a pre-war accident causing Hall to limp in her wooden prosthetic leg, this disguise helps her avoid being detected. Her handler in England is Vera Atkins, another remarkable woman.
Stories of this type not only shine a light on those people in official positions but of the incredible everyday people who risked their lives to save others. No better example is the people of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a village of pacifist Christians who hid thousands of Jewish children. As a work of fiction, some of the characters are composite of actual people and some names have been changed. Robuck does an excellent job in the Afterword clarifying all. If you are a fan of the genre, this book will enhance your knowledge of the period. And will send you off to do more research on Virginia Hill after you are done.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: February 9, 2021.
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