Purnell S Account Of Hall S Hectic, Amphetamine Fuelled Exploits Never Falters It Recalls Caroline Moorehead S Wonderful Book, Village Of Secrets, But Has An Added Touch Of Ben Macintyre S Brio A Rousing Tale Of Derring Do Richard Davenport Hines The Times, Book Of The Week Soon To Be A Film Starring Daisy Ridley, Purnell S Life Of The SOE Agent Virginia Hall Is A Cracking Story About An Extraordinarily Brave Woman Telegraph Best Holiday Beach Reads As Gripping As Any Thriller A Superb Biography Purnell Nimbly Takes The Reader Through Hall S Complicated Manoeuvres All Over Central France And Beyond And In Doing So, She Paints A Rounded Portrait Of A Complicated, Resourceful, Determined And Above All Brave Woman Irish Times Brimming With Moving Tales Of Courage In The Face Of Tyranny, This Is A Worthy Tribute To An Incredible Figure Deirdre O Brien Sunday Mirror A Cracking Story Of An Extraordinarily Brave Woman Extraordinarily Well Researched Thrilling Anne De Courcy Telegraph Excellent Purnell S Meticulous Research Into Hall S Life And Work Has Taken Her Not Only Through British SOE Papers And Resistance Files In France, But Also Through Nine Levels Of Security At The CIA In Langley Spectator Purnell Mixes Telling Detail With Narrative Verve To Convey Both The Excitements Of Hall S Precarious Existence And The Force Of Her Indomitable Spirit Mail On Sunday Riveting One Of The Most Breath Taking Stories Yet Told Of Female Courage Behind Enemy Lines An Intimate And Moving Portrayal Sarah Helm, Author Of If This Is A Woman And A Life In Secrets A Gripping, Relevant And Timely Read About A Remarkable Woman From A Talented Writer Deborah Frances White, Author Of The Guilty Feminist Purnell S Extensive Research Brings The Facts Of Virginia S Life Into Brilliant Focus Jane Shilling Evening StandardThe Incredible Untold Story Of Virginia Hall, An American Woman With A Wooden Leg Who Infiltrated Occupied France For The SOE And Became The Gestapo S Most Wanted Allied Spy, Written By Acclaimed Biographer Sonia Purnell I didn t realise that this was written by a renowned biographer until I started reading I am fascinated by the resistance in WW II The drama, suffering, tragedy and excitement is gripping It s also shocking and sobering as well as intensely moving Often when witting on this subject other authors will not make much of the infighting and internal politics from this period within the resistance itself This is not the case with this biography We ve all heard of Odette but Virginia Hall was unknown to me What a remarkable women It s humbling to think of what these people went through for the love of freedom and the fight against injustice.I was so impressed that I looked into the author and realised who it was Sonia Purnell has written a number of biographys and is probably best known for her writting on Boris Johnson I can t recommend this wonderfully researched book enough. It s no wonder this book has shot to the top of the bestseller lists Sonia Purnell has done an amazing job of uncovering the detailed history of a remarkable woman someone with great character In our times of bloviating, posturing leaders here is a story of someone who sacrificed herself with great courage for the sake of the freedom of another country Her intuition, empathy, wit and charm come through I ll never forget Virginia Hall, now finally recognised as a leading founder of modern spy craft Framing her daring exploits with a contrasting before and after reveals the way women are erased from history to this day Timely, authoritative and gripping Highly Recommended If this had been a novel, it would have been dismissed as unrealistic In fact it is about a truly remarkable woman who risked her own life many times in a country far from her own to save many lives, and arguably to help to shorten the 1939 45 war.Amazing This biography covers a lot of ground and makes wonderful reading Major war events sometimes appear a little over linked with what happens in Virginia Hall s own life, but the author can be forgiven because the story is so well told The pace picks up as Hall s story becomes better known after her transfer from the SOE to the OSS in 1944 She was clearly an extraordinary hero, facing unimaginable emotional upheavals, fighting against male prejudice in the nasty environments of war time France, and then the CIA right up to the end of her career. I was moved by her dedication to beating Hitler her efforts knew no limits in fighting She showed much perseverence that her health suffered So loyal to her comrades Such a scandal that the male oriented army stopped her being very useful after the war and prevented her realising herself. The book is about an American lady who fell in love with France before WW2 and seemingly organised and ran the French Resistance behind enemy lines during the war while working for the British SOE Hunted by the Gestapo, constantly in fear of informers, surrounded by incompetents British and French and danger and if this wasn t difficult enough she had accidentally lost a leg when she was younger and had also to deal with this disability The tale is of sheer heroism, but underlying the story is the struggle of a woman in a very man s world She was not taken seriously and undervalued all along even though her achievements were immense I was spellbound by the story and cannot recommend it highly enough. What a story Except it isn t This fast paced brilliantly written book should be on the national school curriculum to show our future citizens and leaders boys and girls the importance of responsibility, perseverance, resourcefulness, loyalty, our rich history and respect for all human beings.