Rated of 5
by Wendy (Mechanicsville VA)
Signed Mata Hari
Signed Mata Hari is an interestingly written as well as an intriguing tale about one of histories most mysterious and scandalous woman. The author has written short vignettes about her life, alternating between first, second and third person points of view depending on the time and situation being described. We meet her as a young girl crossing Ameland in the North Sea during low tide. She prides herself on being able to escape death before high tide comes in and this is a recurring image throughout the book- one that helps remind her that she is a survivor during some of the more difficult times of her life. Later we find her unhappily married and she seems at times to barely be a participant in her own life. Her one weakness is her children. Her drive to dance, to spy and to take lovers stems from her need to earn money to pay the lawyers who claim to be working to get her custody of her daughter Non.
The writing style, as well as the famous subject matter, certainly casts the Mata Hari of history in a different light. While most readers know of her impending doom, many will not see her as a spy but as a victim of men, especially her husband, and as a loving mother who wants only to see her daughter again. The novel is a nice blend of historical information as well as a more human look at the sexy dancer whose image was immortalized on Mata Hari cigarettes and biscuit tins.