Friday, February 19, 2021

Review: The Secret Stealers by Jane Healey

Title: The Secret Stealers
Author: Jane Healey
Published: April 2021, Lake Union Publishing
Format: ARC E-copy, 443 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

A female American spy in Nazi-occupied France finds purpose behind enemy lines in a novel of unparalleled danger, love, and daring by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Beantown Girls.

Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at an all-girls school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan.

Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down-to-earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the more Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the more she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war.

Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life.

My thoughts:  This is the second book I've read by Jane Healey and I just loved it. It was completely captivating and even a little heartbreaking at times, but I could not put this book down.

I love how the characters in this book come to life on the pages. Equal parts fact and fiction, Jane Healey shows the important roles women played during WWII partly because they were young and pretty and so they were often underestimated to be useful for anything else. We see just how brave and talented some of these women spies really were and what was not only asked of them but what they volunteered to do, knowing the risks they were taking and the dangers they were putting themselves in.

I recently read a book about another real life female spy, so reading this one really intrigued me and I loved that I could feel that dangers that these women were faced with day in and day out. The tension was so palpable throughout the book and knowing that it was based on the lives of real men and women really made the book that much more interesting.  This is why I love reading historical fiction. I always learn something new. For instance, I had no idea that Julia Child was involved in the war effort. Now I'll be going down a rabbit hole researching more about her and what she did during this time. So cool!

I cannot recommend this one enough. It's the perfect combination of suspense, action and even a little romance. It may be long, but it moves quickly and I loved every minute of it. I highly recommend picking this one up when it comes out April 1st!




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