The Girl Who Fell From The Sky
An ‘utterly gripping’ tale of love and espionage in Occupied France by the Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Glass Room (Daily Mail)
Marian Sutro is an outsider: the daughter of a diplomat, brought up on the shores of Lake Geneva and in England, half French, half British, naive yet too clever for her own good. But when she is recruited from her desk job by SOE, the Special Operations Executive, to go undercover in wartime France, it seems her hybrid status – and fluent French – will be of service to a greater, more dangerous cause.
Trained in sabotage, dead-drops, how to perform under interrogation and how to kill, Marian parachutes into south-west France, her official mission to act as a Resistance courier. But her real destination is Paris, where she must seek out family friend Clement Pelletier, once the focus of her adolescent desires. A nuclear physicist engaged in the race for a new and terrifying weapon, he is of urgent significance to her superiors. As she struggles through the strange, lethal landscape of the Occupation towards this reunion, what completes her training is the understanding that war changes everything, and neither love nor fatherland may be trusted.
‘There are many shades of Graham Greene here… [The Girl Who Fell From the Sky] delivers its story with the same delicate, stropped-razor deadliness that creeps up on you like Harry Lime in the shadows, nastily irresistible’ -Financial Times
‘Mawer cranks up the tension; as spy stuff this is as good as Le Carre or Eric Ambler, no higher praise possible’ -The Scotsman
If you only read one book this year, read this one -- Allan Massie * Scotsman * Such rewarding reading . . . Mawer is a genuinely great contemporary writer -- Simon Schama * Financial Times * I read late into the night and cried a little when I was done. Mawer's set pieces are so beautiful you want to read them two or three times over. He writes about fear and about bravery better than any contemporary novelist I know -- Rachel Cooke * Observer * Masterly . . . A tour de force that grips and never lets go -- Max Davidson * Mail on Sunday * Much-lauded British author Mawer vividly describes the deprivations in a war occupied country and its once-vibrant capital and provides testimony to the courage of countless members of the French Resistance. But this is primarily a masterfully crafted homage to the 53 extraordinary women of the French section of the SOE on whose actual exploits the novel is based. With its lyrical yet spare prose and heart-pounding climax, this is a compelling historical thriller of the highest order * Booklist, starred review * A fascinating WWII novel based in fact...Coming-of-age story meets old-fashioned tale of adventure * Publishers Weekly * A smart, well-paced spy thriller based on the true, extraordinary story of the SOE recruiting French-speaking British women during World War II to go undercover. Marian's journey from a young naive school-girl to a cunning spy is well-developed and realistic, making her a memorable heroine * An Amazon.com Best Book of the Month * Full of the fascinating minutiae of espionage - aircraft drops, code-cracking, double agents, scrambled radio messages...Mawer exhibits a great feeling for suspence, and produces memorable episodes in dark alleyways, deserted cafes, and shadowy corners of Pere Lachaise * The New Yorker * Incorporating many of the finest elements of spy thrillers... a fascinating tale of and homage to the resistance fighters and members of the SOE * New York Journal of Book * [A] skillfully and intelligently executed thriller * Washington Post * If you only read one book this year, read this one * Scotsman - Allan Massie * There are many shades of Graham Greene here...delivers its story with the same delicate, stropped-razor deadliness that creeps up on you like Harry Lime in the shadows, nastily irresistible * Financial Times * Masterly . . . A tour de force that grips and never lets go * Mail on Sunday - Max Davidson * Where his last Booker-shortlisted novel, The Glass Room, gave an expansive overview of a whole country over the course of 50 years, Mawer's latest is a more intense and tightly-focused story. Radiating an atmosphere of tense suspicion and claustrophobia, it is utterly gripping from start to finish * Daily Mail * Such rewarding reading . . . Mawer is a genuinely great contemporary writer * Financial Times - Simon Schama * Combines a stirring adventure with a potent reflection on the allure of desire, duty and danger * Evening Standard * I read late into the night and cried a little when I was done. Mawer's set pieces are so beautiful you want to read them two or three times over. He writes about fear and about bravery better than any contemporary novelist I know * Observer - Rachel Cooke *
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