When Somerset Maugham Award winner Nicholas Shakespeare discovered a trunk full of his late aunt's personal belongings, he realized that the glamorous, reticent figure he remembered from his childhood was nothing like the morally ambiguous young woman who emerged from the trove of love letters, journals, and photographs. Priscilla had been a British citizen in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, and Shakespeare had always believed that she was a member of the Resistance, and had been tortured by the Germans; the truth turned out to be far more complicated. His book is both a loving portrait of a flawed woman in terrible times and a gripping snapshot of history.
"Once I started it I was hooked. And when I realized that she hadn't been a brave and beautiful spy, I was double-hooked. Its truth is necessary and essential, and makes the last chapters terrifyingly poignant and moving."—Julian Barnes
"As Shakespeare does his research, the mystery of Priscilla begins to recede.... She is revealed as possibly less worthy—but maybe more intriguing.... Our hunger to know what she thought and felt is a tribute to just how much of her he has been able to put on the page."—NYTimes