Rosie’s #BookReview of #WW2 #HistoricalFiction MADAM FIOCCA by Suzy Henderson

Madame FioccaMadame Fiocca by Suzy Henderson

3.5 stars

Madame Fiocca is a World War Two historical fiction based on the true story of Nancy Wake.

Nancy was born in New Zealand, but she lived in Australia. She left home at a young age and trained first as a nurse and then as a journalist. During the build up to the second world war, Nancy found work based in Paris. She met and married French industrialist Henri Fiocca and for a short time they lived together in Marseille.

Here Nancy supported the allies where she was part of important escape lines, then later towards the end of the war, in her Special Operations Executive role, she coordinated bands of local resistance fighters. Her bravery was recognised and she was awarded several war medals.

I enjoy reading stories based on the real lives of the brave men and women throughout history and I easily read the first half of this book in one sitting. However, I wasn’t so convinced by the second half of the book. I enjoyed the story of Nancy’s life but I didn’t get as much sense of the atmosphere as I did in the first part. I felt that the real fear and danger was missing from the narrative. So, overall, I liked Nancy’s story but some of its deliverance didn’t quite hit the spot for me.

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Book description

A gripping tale of love and espionage in Occupied France, based on true events.

February 1933: When her aunt gifts her two hundred pounds, twenty-year-old Nancy Wake embarks on a world cruise. Afterwards, she becomes a journalist and finds work in Paris. The city is glamorous, brimming with journalists, artists, and refugees.

While travelling across Europe on assignments, she catches the eye of wealthy industrialist Henri Fiocca, and destiny intervenes.

But as clouds of war swarm over Europe, German troops are on the march. Horrified when she witnesses Nazis whipping Jews on Vienna’s streets, Nancy vows to stop them if she ever has the chance.

When Paris falls, an encounter with a British officer draws her into the heart of an escape network. Soon she is caught in a deadly game of espionage.

As the iron fist of the enemy tightens, Nancy and Henri face a heart-breaking decision.

What happens when doing right is the road to ruin?

A must-read gripping adventure based on the true story of Nancy Wake, Gestapo’s most wanted in World War Two France.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #WW2 resistance-themed drama Never Say Goodbye by Hilary Green

Never Say GoodbyeNever Say Goodbye by Hilary Green

4 stars

Never Say Goodbye is a war-time drama. It is the story of secret agent Diana Stevens, known as Steve, who was sent into eastern France. Her role was a messenger and coordinator of other established spies’ activities. She used her initiative to manage resistance members, organise parachute drops of arms, and to aid sabotaging of railway lines.

The writing style and attention to detail brought out a real sense of danger. I really enjoyed the time spent building Steve’s character and how the story unfolded. There was plenty of tension and atmosphere, and the situations in which Steve found herself felt realistic.

Eastern France is not an area I know, but I could picture the towns and the forests that Steve moved through. I thought the author did well with the minor characters too; at no time did I feel overwhelmed by their numbers. My only niggle was a change to some of the last few chapters when a main character from a previous novel had several chapters from her point of view; they just felt a bit awkward in this book.

Overall a very good World War Two resistance-themed story.

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Book description

Diana knows what she is getting herself into when she applies to become an agent for the Special Operations Executive. The training is demanding—sabotage, codes, hand-to-hand combat, parachute jumps. Soon she finds herself in a Lysander flying to France, where any mistake could mean capture, torture, or death, for her and for the innocent people of France.

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