In the early 1940s, young and newly widowed Radcliffe graduate Anna Cavanaugh takes a job working in Washington DC for the Office of Strategic Services, the nation’s first intelligence agency, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and headed by William “Wild Bill” Donovan. Anna's goal is to become an operative and serve the country’s war efforts in France as she is fluent in French and German. Once she is sent overseas, Anna joins forces with the Resistance and faces daily danger living undercover while trying to secure intelligence from German officers and transmit secrets to London by wireless radio.
Jane Healey’s new book The Secret Stealers brings the reader behind the scenes into the lives of the brave spies who showed extreme resilience and commitment to the cause during WWII. This book represents an extensive amount of research and includes true life heroes. Anna is a fictional representation of many woman whose stories we’re only now learning about so many years after the war.
There are several WWII-era books that tell the stories of the brave women who served in the OSS as well as the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). Many of these books are quite good. If you enjoy historical fiction and stories of ordinary people who do extraordinary things, add The Secret Stealers to your list. The comradery between all the characters (both the men and women) was especially appealing. The women were treated with respect and served as equals. While not a major character, it was nice to read about Julia (McWilliams) Child, yes, that Julia Child, and her involvement in the OSS. Although it depicts serious subject matter and people facing possible death, the book is a bit lighter a read than others in the genre.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in advance of its publication.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: April 1, 2021.
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