Friday, May 8, 2015
A Cool and Lonely Courage by Susan Ottaway
"The untold story of sister spies in occupied France," is the subtitle of this account of two French/English sisters who volunteered to be a courier and radio operator for the Resistance. Although both were initially belittled by their British trainers, Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne became productive agents in an extremely dangerous network of allies and traitors. Eileen was eventually captured by the Nazis and barely survived enslavement in several concentration camps before liberation. Jacqueline survived her service and became a successful liaison at the U.N., while Eileen worked as a nurse and suffered from post-traumatic stress throughout much of her life. The author describes what emotions the sisters must have been feeling too often early in the book, but this is an interesting glimpse into the shady realm of World War II covert operations and their high cost.