I’m back this week with a historical fiction blog on The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff. Most of the main characters in this novel are female, and are agents in the Special Operations Executive in Britain during the 1940’s. These women defied tradition by taking on a job that had typically been done by men. The story had some mystery to it, as well as the turmoil of the war efforts of the time. It also has discussion questions at the end, which makes it great for book clubs or just for extra insight into the characters and writing.
Grace Healey discovers a forgotten suitcase in Grand Central Terminal one morning on her way to work. She opens it to try to find some ID of the owner and finds an envelope of pictures – all of young, nicely dressed women. Eventually, Grace ends up tracking down the owner of the suitcase – Eleanor Trigg – and begins a journey to discover why these women were important to Eleanor. In alternating chapters, the story of women in the pictures (Marie, Josie, Maureen, and others) is told as it happened during WWII. Their story began in Britain and continued into France, Germany and the United States. Their stories are fictional, but are inspired by actual women of the SOE who trained, were deployed and operated in missions throughout France.
I loved the mysteries in The Lost Girls of Paris! Who are the women in the photos? Who will help Grace learn about the pictures? Who is on the allies side and who is possibly betraying them? I cared about the characters and I was intrigued by all of the unknown answers to my questions – so I couldn’t stop reading once I got to the second half of the book! This is a great read for those who love the WWII setting and like strong female characters!
Here are a couple of links about some of the actual SOE female operatives: