Spyglass: An Autobiography

Helene Deschamps-Adams, Author Henry Holt & Company $16.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3536-0
More dramatic than most spy novels, this suspenseful and thoughtful memoir sheds light on the workings of the French Resistance during WWII, deliberately suppressing the romance of espionage in favor of emphasizing the sacrifices required of resisters and the endless dangers facing them. Deschamps, the daughter of a French colonel, was only 17 when she began searching for a role in the Resistance in 1940; the very attempt to make contact was fraught with peril. Working her way up to a trusted position, she infiltrated a Vichy office--thus putting herself at risk from other French patriots as well as from her Vichy and Nazi bosses. Her many heroic exploits also included reconnaissance missions and shepherding downed Allied pilots out of France. To ensure the safety of her family, she contrived to estrange herself from them; she was further isolated by the wartime deaths of her few close friends and colleagues. The prose is straightforward, unpolished--and the artlessness serves the story well, a constant reminder that it is both true and a source of pain to its narrator. Ages 12-up. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
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