The Lost Girls of Paris

The Lost Girls of Paris

by Pam Jenoff


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From the author of the runaway bestseller The Orphan’s Tale comes a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.

1946, Manhattan

Grace Healy is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a ring of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war, and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778330271
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 436
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant's Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

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The Lost Girls of Paris 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
This book kept me captivated. I had to keep reading to see what happens to the girls.
Anonymous 8 months ago
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gaele More than 1 year ago
Told in three different voices, in three timeframes, Jenoff gives us the story of operations through the SOE, a British wartime branch dedicated to working with in country organizations and resistance groups to cause upheaval in the German plans: from moving personnel and supplies to actually setting bombs to destroy infrastructure while providing a constant stream of “boots on the ground’ information through various radio dispatches. In actual fact, the SOE operatives were clandestine and unless male, unrecognized by the British government, and with an average lifespan of six months (at best), this is a huge ask requiring all who are chosen and agreed to do their part some of the bravest, yet least recognized in the fight. Using a mix of facts and fictions, Jenoff manages to tell a story that brings us through the first consideration of women in the front lines to the dissolution and search for answers for 12 missing women. Told in three voices from three women in very different places and positions, Grace, Eleanor and Marie all share their fears, hopes, activities and struggles to make places for themselves as they make a difference. Grace’s perspective in 1946 brings a touch of mystery to the story: her discovery of a case tucked under a bench in Grand Central, and the dozen photographs of young women contained inside fits neatly into her own personal upheaval, and allows her a new focus that isn’t her own situation, grief, guilt or lack of real direction since her husband’s death before deployment. Working for an attorney who is constantly ‘on’ and developed a network of ‘connections’ who may be able to help her answer who the girls are, she’s also got her husband’s best friend, a lawyer in DC, and if she can overcome the mixture of guilt and attraction, a person who also could help her to answer the ‘why’ and ‘who’. Grace takes us through the US side of the records, making assumptions that are, but for one, correct and finding a sort of ‘peace’ in the answers she uncovers. Eleanor and Marie are more the bits of the story that are ‘as it happens’ on the ground. Eleanor has managed, despite her Polish routes and being a refugee, risen to the top of the SOE as admin and personal secretary to the director. Her organization, clear thinking, determination and a photographic memory have made her indispensable (for the moment) and when she suggests (and rightly so) that women are recruited to operate in country and work as agents in France, she is the one tasked with recruiting and organizing their training and deployment. Determined to make her ‘girls’ relevant and use their skills to perform under the nose of the Germans, her recruits come from everywhere, and her knowledge of them is encyclopedic. It is when she recruits Marie, a single unwed mother born to privilege with a French mother that our tale of the organization truly takes off. We follow Marie through her training, her deployment and her life in France, getting to know other members of the large cell she works with, the leaders and the other members, until her eventual capture by the Germans and her realization that someone, up in the offices of London has betrayed them all. It is Grace’s story that ties all of this together as she pulls all the pieces together, pieces that Eleanor was slowly gathering and providing these women with a voice and story. Unknown and unacknowledged, it will take Grace’s determination with a surprising cohort to bring the story of the “
Anonymous 7 days ago
I truly enjoyed this book, could not put it down. Beautifully written. I will definitely be reading more from this author.
Anonymous 10 days ago
The concept of this book is great. Women spies, reading from different points of view and timelines, and the charm of the era are all good qualities of this book. However, the concept wasn't quite carried out the way it seemed it would. The story was interesting, but it wasn't exciting and didn't keep me hooked or interested for very long. I was left with a lot of "why?" questions and didn't really enjoy the main characters. This is not to say that no one would enjoy this book, simply that it was not at all my style or pace after the first couple of chapters. It is definitely a historical fiction book, but I wouldn't give it any type of suspenseful or thriller tag. I was really excited about this book, so maybe I had too high of expectations, but it just didn't meet what I hoped for.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Anonymous 17 days ago
I was excited about this book. I love historical fiction novels and I thought this book checked off all of my boxes. It fell short for me though. It is a quick read (very quick) but I wouldn't say it was a page turner. The book follows 3 women in different locations and sometimes time periods. I thought the main characters lacked depth and it was hard to understand why they made choices they were making. For example, why was Grace to determined to know more about some randoms photos she had stollen from a random suitcase? I thought Marie made foolish choices and was disappointed to see make some of her last major choices at the expense of her daughter. It didn't seem like her motives were believable. I felt the relationships in the book were not developed enough and the storline was very rushed. I don't think I will be reading anything else by this author, especially after seeing how many liberties the author took with history.
Anonymous 17 days ago
Totally engrossing and fantastic read.
Anonymous 22 days ago
I was intrigued with the story and the topic, but was horrified to see a grand total of TWO books listed as reference materials. SOE/WWII should certainly have commanded some serious research effort. As such, this feels like a comic book that was written off the cuff.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Women Spies In Paris During World War II I received a free copy of The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff in exchange for an honest review. My opinions about this book are all my own. I have read many books by Pam Jenoff and she did not disappoint me in this new one, The Lost Girls of Paris. It is set during World War II and some years following the War. I didn't know much about the British using women as spies in France to help the Resistance in their plot to stop Hitler and the Nazis. Pam Jenoff was able to capture the friendships, courage and hardships these women shared in their training and assignments. The Lost Girls of Paris began as the reader was introduced to Grace Healey, a young and recent widow, living in New York City. She was trying to put her life back together after loosing her husband. They had only been married a very short time when he was to be deployed. On his way to New York to see her before his troop was deployed he died in a car accident where his jeep went off the road. They were scheduled to meet in Grand Central Station under the clock but he never showed up. Now on her way to work she was forced to cut through Grand Central Station once again. She had avoided it since she learned of her husband's death. There had been an accident on the street she needed to use to proceed to her work place. All she was able to find out was that someone had been killed by an oncoming car. With no alternative, Grace entered Grand Central Station and discovered an abandoned suitcase beneath a bench. She decided to open the suitcase to see if she could learn who it belonged to. Inside, Grace found several photos of women encircled in a lace cloth. On impulse, Grace decided to keep the photos. As she was putting the suitcase back where she had found it she noticed the name Trigg on the outside. She left Grand Central Station with the photos. Later, Grace learned that the suitcase and photos belonged to Eleanor Trigg. She had worked at the SOE in England and was put in charge of training and deploying women to occupied France as radio operators and couriers during World War II. Eleanor believed that women would be able to do these jobs less conspicuously than the men that had been doing them. The men were being captured and tortured and therefore they were not being successful. This was Eleanor's baby to design, implant and carry out. She chose the women carefully and came to know every detail about them. She felt personally responsible for each one of the women she chose. The Lost Girls of Paris alternated between Eleanor's, Grace's and one of the women Eleanor had chosen's stories. It was hard to put down once I had begun reading. I highly recommend this book.
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CharJones2525 4 months ago
Jenoff’s mesmerizing newest hits my sweet spot: WWII intrigue with brave female spies part of the Resistance who never return home. A grand tale unearthing their fate, beautifully written, meticulously researched, one of my faves this year for certain! 5 of the 5 Heartiest Stars! Pub Date 29 Jan 2019. Available on Amazon. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheLostGirlsOfParis #NetGalley
Anonymous 4 months ago
norway_girl 4 months ago
It's not "The Nightingale" or "The Alice Network", but wonderful just the same... I guess I have a favorite genre...historical fiction, specifically 1930 to 1950 and I am particularly drawn to WWII resistance/espionage plots. If they have heroic main characters and a little dabble of wartime romance then I have a winner. This book fits the bill and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now, I also read The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn, which in my opinion was better, but Ms Jenoff's novel kept me glued to my seat turning page after page. This was a very good story of the women from Great Britain who were trained to be radio operators and couriers of vital information in the spy networks of France prior to D-Day. They were not combatants and if discovered would not be protected by the Geneva Convention, yet they used their skills to subvert the Nazi's and provide a vital communications link between London and France. What I enjoyed most about this was the two main voices or story lines are separated only by two years. So the "before" is still as fresh as the "after". Also there is no confusion following both narratives. If you enjoyed The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, The Alice Network, The Radio Girls, Lilac Girls then this will certainly satisfy.
kdunk 4 months ago
By westkl Absolutely loved this book! Historical fiction, particularly Civil War/WWI/WWII are my favorite reads. I enjoyed reading from the points of view of Eleanor, Marie, and Grace. Grace, recently widowed is living in NYC 1946 and one day finds a suitcase at Grand Central Station. In it she finds personal effects, including some photos that intrigue her. She soon learns the case belonged to Eleanor Trigg. The book flashes back to Eleanor's time in Britain's SOE (Special Operations Executive). She starts as a secretary and ends up in charge of the SOE's experimental division of female spies. She oversees the choosing and hiring of the individual women. The book continues to follow one of these brave young women, Marie, as she goes through training and is eventually deployed to begin missions. Based loosely on true events, this book kept me reading until well into the night. Highly recommend if you like books such as Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale and Kate Quinn's The Alice Network.
MamaHendo 5 months ago
Grace is late to work...again. Making matters worse her route to the office is blocked by a fatal car accident forcing her to have to cut through Grand Central Station. Grace hasn't set foot in Grand Central since that fateful day Tom failed to meet her. With no other options she sets off on a quick sprint. Mid-dash she catches her leg on an object, an abandoned suitcase. She surveys the area for an owner but when she spies no one she decides to take a look inside. Its contents point to a female owner but the thing that really catches Grace's eye is an envelope containing twelve photographs of women, some in uniform. Without explanation, Grace decides to replace the suitcase but pockets the envelope of the girls and goes on her way. Unbeknownst to Grace, this simple act will involve her in an adventure that takes her and the reader back in time two years and across the ocean to uncover the secrets of the women of British SOE during WWII. "The Lost Girls of Paris" is a multi-POV/dual-timeline story that gives a voice to the many brave civilian men and women who were willing to anonymously risk their lives in order to help the Allies defeat the Germans. Pam Jenoff has written a page-turning piece of historical fiction that any fan of this genre should add to their TBR list immediately.