Leader of French network spying on German military installations during WW2 was a beautiful, courageous young woman

When I started reading Madame Fourcade's Secret War by New York Times' bestselling author Lynne Olson, I assumed it was a novel of historical fiction—a story built around the experiences of true-life heroes of the French Resistance during World War II. To my surprise and ultimately much more rewarding to read, it turned out to be non-fiction. This book is a history lesson that is long overdue. We've read a lot of stories over the years about the bravery and heroic efforts of French citizens who risked their lives and…

Continue Reading

Story of Lithuanian struggle after the war is a fascinating read

Whever I read a book like Under Ground by Antanas Sileika  I'm reminded that we won the lottery being born in Canada. The rights, freedoms and privileges that we enjoy as Canadians are shared by so few in the world. After World War II, the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were basically abandoned by the Allies and left to be plundered by the Russians. After being pummelled both physically, morally and politically by the Germans during the war and then the Red Army, Lithuania was a country…

Continue Reading

The Alice Network shines a light on women’s bravery during both wars

It's natural when we enjoy a book to follow up by reading another book by the same author. After reading Kate Quinn's The Huntress I couldn't wait to dig into her earlier book, The Alice Network. Quinn has a gift for being able to weave real historical events into fictional accounts with characters based on real-life individuals and composites. The story spans a period of several decades with most of the action taking place late in World War I and the years prior to and just after World War II. The plot…

Continue Reading

What’s on your summer reading list?

Best-selling author Jennifer Weiner's recent Op-Ed piece What's Your Favorite Book? in The New York Times questioned the validity of criticizing other people's choices in reading material. In particular, she was disappointed that Stephen Colbert made fun of the so-called bodice-ripper books by Georgia politician Stacey Abrams written under the name Selena Montgomery. When asked what book U.S. presidential candidate Mark Buttigieg would take if stranded on a desert island he named James Joyce's Ulysses. Whether he was sincere or just showing off is moot because according to Weiner whatever we…

Continue Reading

The Music Shop is run by a peculiar man on a street of peculiar people

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce is a quirky little story with a quirky little cast of lovably, eccentric characters. One of the reasons I love British authors (and British television shows) is their absolute mastery of understatement and irony. I adored Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine for the same reason. Rachel Joyce also wrote The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which I must now add to my list of books to read. A good writer can turn the most mundane everyday events into something you become immersed in and…

Continue Reading

Who was the woman in Hitler’s bathtub and how did she get there?

Elizabeth "Lee" Miller was a fascinating woman and I love books about fascinating women. The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer describing the life of Lee Miller in the city of light is such a book. Miller's glory days were spent in Paris between the wars when she was the lover, muse and assistant to the famous artist and photographer Man Ray. In a classic tale of servant becoming the master, the author takes us on a fictional journey based on Miller's real life—historical fiction, my favourite genre. Lee Miller was born…

Continue Reading
Close Menu
×