Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Review: Agent 355 by Marie Benedict (audio)

Title: Agent 355
Author: Marie Benedict
Narrator: Emily Rankin
Published: July 2020, Audible Original
Length: 2 hours 7 minutes
Source: Personal copy

From Marie Benedict, best-selling author of The Only Woman in the Room and Lady Clementine, comes a captivating work of historical fiction about a young female spy who may have changed the course of American History.

The tide is turning against the colonists in the Revolutionary War, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Morris cannot sit by idly. Quietly disdainful of her Tory parents, who drag her along to society events and welcome a British soldier into their home during their occupation of New York City, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands. She realizes that, as a young woman, no one around her believes that she can comprehend the profound implications of being a nation at war - she is, effectively, invisible. And she can use this invisibility to her advantage. Her unique access to British society leads her to a role with General George Washington's own network of spies: the Culper Ring.

Based on true events, Agent 355 combines adventure, romance, and espionage to bring to life this little-known story of a hero who risked her life to fight for freedom against all odds.


My thoughts:  I have come to love Marie Benedict's work and applaud how she brings to life extraordinary women from the past who we have little to no knowledge of. This latest novella is just one such example. We don't know who the spy was that took down Benedict Arnold, but what Marie Benedict has done here is given us a fictionalized version of who she thinks it might have been. We may never know Agent 355's true identity, but we now know her story and her sacrifice.

I appreciated the story and all the research that Marie Benedict put into it, but I also appreciated the note from the author at the end. There is so much that is unknown in our history and I love Marie Benedict for helping to fill in just a little bit where she can.

Audio thoughts: Emily Rankin does a fantastic job narrating this audio. Her pacing and intonation are spot on and she brings the characters to life. She infused just the right amount of emotion into her voice as necessary. I really enjoyed listening to the short novella and found her narration to be perfection!


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