I found this read to be very well done. There were some places that had me lost, as the author did go in and out of a time frame of action. I would later realize perhaps she was reiterating to bring in (another) more explicit point about Ms. Hall and her teams. I want to encourage readers to take up this book, as a way to learn about some of our past heroic men and women fighting for FREEDOM!!
I agree with the professional reviewers that this is an important book for dealing with an historical person none of us ever heard of. I'll never forget Virginia Hall, now, and wish I could have known her.
I find the book also frustrating, though, because I find the author's writing style tedious and her syntax and punctuation errors maddening. Maybe the errors she makes (misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, incomplete sentences) will annoy only those readers with the "English teacher gene," but readers are now forewarned.
The other technique of the author's that I don't care for is her using too many exclamation marks and superlatives. She early on convinces readers that Virginia Hall and her fellow Resistance members were brave beyond imagining, and so she has no need of reminding us of it every page or so. Also, the writer keeps referring to Virginia as being "glamorous" and other synonyms for beautiful and, again, I wonder why she feels the need to repeat it over and over.
Another thing -- I like that she has lots of footnotes for her sources, but she often attributes feelings and thoughts to the characters without any sources noted, and that's when the book seems (to me, at least) to tip over into fiction. How does the author KNOW that the person was feeling that way?
So I hope that before too long a better biographer will be inspired to write about Virginia Hall's life. It's a life I can appreciate, as should many more of us who can remember WWII, and also those who cannot. You're unlikely to read about Virginia Hall in any mainstream history text, yet I'd rather read about her than about all the well-known (male) stars of the era of whom there is much too much out there (e.g. Eisenhower, Churchill, etc. etc. etc.). Some day I imagine there will be a movie made about the French Resistance that does not leave out Virginia Hall; what a relief that will be!
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