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A Woman of No Importance

The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
Auteur(s): Sonia Purnell
Narrateur(s): Juliet Stevenson
Durée: 13 h et 54 min
5 out of 5 stars (5 évaluations)

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Description

The never-before-told story of one woman's heroism that changed the course of the Second World War.

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her." 

The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare". She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and - despite her prosthetic leg - helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it. 

Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerrilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.

Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall - an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

©2019 Sonia Purnell (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Ce que les critiques disent

“Purnell vividly resurrects an underappreciated hero and delivers an enthralling story of wartime intrigue...fans of WWII history and women’s history will be riveted.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Purnell’s writing is as precise and engaging as her research, and this book restores overdue attention to one of the world’s great war heroes. It’s a joy to read, and it will swell readers' hearts with pride.” (Booklist

“A groundbreaking biography that reads like a spy thriller...a suspenseful, heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant tale of heroism and sacrifice.” (BookPage

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Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Trier :
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars

exceptional wartime story

exceptionally written and narrated - balancing detail and sensitivity with intrigue, chronicling this hero's wartime contibutions that were at times uselessly and solely stymied by gender issues.

Trier :
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KathrynVB
  • 2019-04-22

Recommended for all women, young & old

I was not aware of Virginia Hall until I saw this book reviewed and decided to use my credit to purchase it. This is a fascinating account of an American woman who disappeared into occupied France as part of Britain's Special Operations Executive corps, where she became perhaps the most important spy ever recruited by that agency. This book should be read by every teenaged girl to show what a woman of her great-grandmother's generation was able to accomplish. I am sending this to my 16 year-old granddaughter.

10 personnes sur 11 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CP in Seattle
  • 2019-05-21

An Excellent Read

This book gets my highest rating. Enthusiasts of WWII history will be dazzled by this non-fiction account of the French Resistance, and one woman in particular, who was an outright hero of the war. She was an involved leader and organizer of the resistance, and worked right under the noses of the Nazis in Vichy France for three years.

Thank you to the author for so clearly bringing this story to our attention. This was a nail biter, and this book is unforgettable.

Also enjoyable is The Nightingale, a similar French Resistance story, albeit fiction.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • CB
  • 2019-05-14

Interesting...

Pretty good read. Interesting subject (person and times / situation). Oddly, though, I only very gradually got a complete clear picture of what Virginia actually did in 'the field' almost half way through... She was not, for the most part, actively and directly engaged with the enemy. More an organizer, go between, deal broker, wireless operator.
Some very interesting insights / inside info, into what it meant in practical terms to be part of the residence.

3 personnes sur 4 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • 2019-05-03

A “must read” for anyone interested in WWII or the history of women in undercover work.

Very well researched and very well written. Also, sadly, yet another unflattering study of treatment of highly intelligent women. Virginia Hall changed the course of the war in Europe and yet is barely known. A must read.

3 personnes sur 4 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Doug Easterling
  • 2019-06-18

Amazing story of undervalued contributions

A bit overwhelming w/ complexities of French WWII resistance, but well worth understanding the challenges of espionage.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • EveryContinent
  • 2019-06-16

Excellent, moving, thought-provoking account

The author’s exhaustive research shines. We the readers / listeners are on the ground in France with Ms Hall to experience unimaginable bravery, conflict and despair. The timing for me, listening during D-Day remembrances, made the book especially poignant. Should be required reading for high school students.

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carla
  • 2019-06-10

Narration was distracting

This is a great story I wish I had read instead of listened to. I found the narrators American and French accents really grating (and not good) and ultimately distracting from this remarkable woman's story.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathryn Hartwig
  • 2019-06-07

Hidden Heroes

A story unknown to me. Am so thankful for hero’s such as Virginia Hall who had the courage to see and fight the evils in this world which seek to enslave us all. Thank you for telling this incredible story about an incredible woman.

1 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-05

Astounding

This bio reads like a thriller but also offers insights into the origins of intelligence agencies in the US and abroad. The character of Virginia Hall leaps off the page- just like the original woman. This book dovetails and deepens the truth surrounding other popular resistance stories such as Lost Girls of Paris and Code Name Lise. A breathtaking story.

1 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • HaDice
  • 2019-05-29

a strong tribute to a strong woman

I was blown away by Virginia's grit, determination and savviness. What a remarkable example, especially for my daughters.
Performance was flawless. Riveting!

1 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente