D-Day Girls: Book summary and reviews of D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose

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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About this book

Book Summary

The dramatic, untold story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory.

In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was fighting. Churchill believed Britain was locked in an existential battle and created a secret agency, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharp-shooting. Their job, he declared, was "to set Europe ablaze!" But with most men on the frontlines, the SOE did something unprecedented: it recruited women. Thirty-nine women answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France. Half were caught, and a third did not make it home alive.

In D-Day Girls, Sarah Rose draws on recently declassified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the story of three of these women. There's Odette Sansom, a young mother who feels suffocated by domestic life and sees the war as her ticket out; Lise de Baissac, an unflappable aristocrat with the mind of a natural leader; and Andrée Borrel, the streetwise organizer of the Paris Resistance. Together, they derailed trains, blew up weapons caches, destroyed power and phone lines, and gathered crucial intelligence' - laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war.

Stylishly written and rigorously researched, this is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance, in which women continue to play a vital role.

Reading Guide


About the Author
Sarah Rose is the author of For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History. She has written for the Wall Street Journal, Outside, The Saturday Evening Post, and Men's Journal. In 2014, she was awarded a Lowell Thomas Prize in Travel Writing.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Gripping, queasily so: Spies, romance, Gestapo thugs, blown-up trains, courage, and treachery (lots of treachery)' - and all of it true, all precisely documented. Sarah Rose leaves you marveling at the sheer courage shown by these women of Churchill's Special Operations Executive, who risked all to fight the Nazis and help prepare the way for D-Day." - Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake
 
"Sarah Rose's edge-of-the-seat spy thriller weaves the incredible stories of World War II's forgotten heroines' - daring, modern, and key to defeating the Nazis in France. Brilliantly researched and gorgeously written' - with a cameo from Winston Churchill' - this is the D-Day book the world has been waiting for." - Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

"Sarah Rose has worked wonders to provide a fresh, thrilling account of the female spies whose courage and audacity helped win the day on June 6, 1944." - Alex Kershaw, author of The Bedford Boys and Avenue of Spies
 
"The mission is this: Read D-Day Girls today. Not just for the spy flair' - code names, aliases, and operating covers' - but also because this history feels more relevant than ever, as an army of women and girls again find themselves in a fight for the common good." - Lily Koppel, author of The Astronaut Wives Club

"Sarah Rose's D-Day Girls is not only an edge-of-your-seat World War II thriller that reads like fiction, it's a highly relevant read that will, at long last, inscribe the names of three remarkable female spies' - Andrée Borrel, Odette Sansom, Lise de Baissac' - into our history books." - Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire

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The dramatic, untold story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory. Stylishly written and rigorously researched, this is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance, in which women continue to play a vital role.

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