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A Cool and Lonely Courage: The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France

Susan Ottaway
Item #: D73064
Format: Cloth
Pages/Publication Date: 325 / 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316326988
Currently Unavailable

When Eileen Nearne was found dead in her home in the seaside town of Torquay in 2010, few of her neighbors would have guessed that the elderly recluse had been a decorated war hero who sent crucial radio messages to British intelligence from Nazi-occupied France. Her sister Jacqueline had served as a courier for the French resistance, and narrowly avoided arrest, but Eileen was captured and tortured by the Gestapo, then sent to the infamous Ravensbrück women's concentration camp. Astonishingly, she escaped her captors and found her way to the advancing American army, though she suffered from psychological problems for the rest of her life. Susan Ottaway profiles both sisters here, and personally interviewed Nearne in connection with her previous biography of SOE agent Violette Szabo.

"A realistic picture of life as a spy: lonely and filled with constant fear. Ottaway is a gifted storyteller ... skillfully weaving family strife, SOE bureaucratic problems and on-the-ground Resistance work into a cohesive narrative."—Kirkus Reviews


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