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D-Day Girls

The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II

by Sarah Rose

D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose X
D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose
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There are currently 43 member reviews
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  • Amy H. (Iowa City, IA)
    Women of the Resistance
    D-Day girls appeals to anyone interested in WW2, women's war efforts, and anyone interested in reading about unsung war heroes. Women in the Resistance were many and their actions far-reaching. A good read with some uncommon stories.
  • Shannon L. (Portland, OR)
    Author Sarah Rose missed a great opportunity!
    The cover was the first thing that drew me to D-Day Girls, by Sarah Rose. The graphics brought the prospect of a great story about the women who took part in World War II. Thoughts of women "spies who armed the Resistance, sabotaged the Nazis, and helped win World War II" brought even greater expectations. Historical fact and fiction from World War I through World War II are my go-to genres. There was no doubt in my mind that I would love this book but I shouldn't have been so quick to pass judgment.

    The year is 1942. Europe is deep into the war and the Allies are losing. Churchill recruits thirty-nine women to become saboteurs in France. Author Sarah Rose draws on the lives of three of these women to tell the story: Odette Samson, Lise de Baissac and Andree Borrel. Women of different backgrounds all working together to derail trains, blow up weapons caches, destroy power and phone lines and gather intelligence. Their assignments were dangerous and most of the 39 did not make it home.

    D-Day Girls had the potential of a great story but that didn't happen. Rose did an incredible amount of research and gave a good overview of the development of the Special Operations Executive (S.O.E) including sixty pages of footnotes and an extensive, useful bibliography. Readers will finish with the knowledge that spy networks were a primary ingredient in liberating France and winning World War II. The author didn't do enough here. She gives an impression that these were the only women working in dangerous, underground roles; they were not. She needed to make her narrative part of a larger picture in the extensive network of women doing every job imaginable.

    Only because I was reviewing D-Day Girls did I finished reading it. There were times when I couldn't tell fact from fiction. Rose mixes reality and speculation. She tells her readers exactly what these three women were thinking and makes vast speculations about France's role in the war. Unfortunately, her notes do not support the narrative she presents and I wondered if she really had this evidence or these postures were personal opinions. D-Day Girls would have been so much better if Rose had made a clearer choice about whether she was historical fiction or non-fiction. Once she had that clear, in her own mind, a good editor could have helped her develop the suspense, danger and excitement that was hiding in this important piece of twentieth-century history.

    While I cannot give this book a great recommendation, I hope Rose keeps writing. She has an eye for finding powerful true stories.
  • Kathleen B. (Las Vegas, NV)
    Writing is poor
    This book is about the time before D-Day and the year after. The Allied forces were losing the war. Winston Churchill decided to start a spy organization called SOE that would go into enemy territory. He recruited women. This book follows three women, Odette Sanson, Lise de Baissac and Andree Barrel. After the war, half of all the women were caught and one third didn't make it home. The French Resistance with the help of the women blew up bridges, train stations, supply trains, power plants, and troop movements. It is gratifying to know the next generation will know about these women and the French Resistance, All because after all these years WWII documents have been opened to the public. One of the problems I had with the book was Sarah Rose telling us what the women were thinking or feeling. I also thought the book was poorly written and disorganized. Even still I enjoyed reading it.
  • Evelyn G. (Union, NJ)
    D-Day Dull
    I looked forward to reading this account of the valiant women who volunteered to be dropped behind enemy lines during WW2 prior to D Day to create havoc and damage for the Allied forces. The reading was crammed with facts and much documentation supporting the exploits of these brave ladies, but I plodded through the lifeless portrayals that did nothing to stir imagination or bring an empathy of these real heroines. I feel it has value more as a research vehicle than generally readable book to honor this elite group that gave so much for so many.
  • Joy E
    The Courageous Women Who Became “D Day Girls”
    D Day Girls is a readable introduction to the women who served in the UK Special Operations Executive (SOE) in France during World War II. For anyone who has read earlier histories of the brave activities of the SOE, this book does not add a lot of new material. A new generation of readers will learn about the dangers these women faced and their contribution to the fight against the Nazi occupation of France. The betrayals and the cooperation from the French population are part of the story.

    One quibble is that for much of the book the expected time frame for D Day is 1943. That earlier D Day never materializes and with little transition we are suddenly reading about the events leading to the real 1944 D Day. But that aside this book should encourage readers to look at the full memoirs and other, more detailed books and films about the women of the SOE, those who survived and those who didn’t.
  • Joyce Wenz
    An untold story
    This book has important information and is well researched. I feel it was a little choppy in jumping to different women; a flow was missing. It needs more detailed escapades to create tension and excitement. It reads more as a thesis than a story. It is important to tell their story; having read Lilac Girls, Atomic Girls, Hidden Figures, etc. I am so glad the women's accomplishments are being recorded so our children and grandchildren will know how brave and involved our ancestors were in these battles and discoveries.
  • Carol F. (Lake Linden, MI)
    D Day Girls
    It seems that lately there are more books about women who took part in WWII. I would say that this book was more a history of the war rather than the story of the heroic women who took part in D Day. I never felt that I got to know these women in any way. Code Girls (which I recently read) gave the readers a rich background of the girls and you remembered each one from chapter to chapter. I commend the author for the research involved but felt somewhat mislead by the book description. Would not recommend.

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