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Sonia Purnell is a journalist known for her investigative skills. She began her career at The Economist Intelligence Unit before going on to edit a weekly financial magazine at only 25 years old. She has since worked for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent vis mere on Sunday and the London Evening Standard. It was during her time working for the Telegraph in Brussels in the early 1990s that Sonia worked with Boris Johnson, who later became the Mayor of London and the subject of Sonia¿s first book, Just Boris. In 2012 Aurum Press released Sonia's new ebook, Pedal Power: How Boris Johnson Failed London's Cyclists. Sonia¿s latest book, First Lady, explores the dynamics of the fascinating union between Clementine and Winston Churchill. From the personal and political upheavals of the Great War, through the Churchills¿ `wilderness years¿ in the 1930s, to Clementine¿s efforts to preserve her husband¿s health during the struggle against Hitler. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre
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Profiles the life of Virginia Hall, a socialite, who became the first Allied woman in WWII to be sent behind enemy lines. Despite her prosthetic leg, she helped establish spy networks throughout France, and even when her cover was blown, she refused orders to evacuate. Though she finally escaped France, she went back, saying that she had more lives to save.

This was an astounding story of Virginia Hall and the many amazing things she did during the war. She endured cold, lack of food and pain from her prosthetic leg but never stopped working to sabotage the Germans. She was extremely loyal to the other people who were working with her and risking their lives too. She planned a number of prison breaks for those people who had been captured and succeeded. I also learned a lot about France’s situation during the war which filled gaps in my knowledge. An excellent and fascinating true story.… (mere)
gaylebutz | 62 andre anmeldelser | Feb 14, 2024 |
jdolan787 | 62 andre anmeldelser | Jan 22, 2024 |
Read for my book club.

Quite an interesting book of an independent woman and a domineering man during turbulent times. I didn't think much of the first half but the 2nd half was good - describing numerous political events and the ways in which dysfunctional family relationships were managed or mismanaged.

Very well researched but I can't quite bring myself to say it was well written. Obviously, the author had access to this huge pile of correspondence between Winston Churchill and Clementine and didn't know how to draw limits. I mean, when she's telling us the name of her dogs, the color of the panels in her dining room, and so on - none of which is ever referred to again - that's simply unnecessary. Too many instances of this kind of thing. At the same time, there were many things left unexplained - although that may be an unfair criticism. If the book was written for someone who was very familiar with the era from WWI to WWII and English history, they must know all this. However, as a choice for a general interest book club, this was not my area so I occasionally had to put the book down and read up on topics to figure out what or who she was talking about.

Her editor should have picked up on this so her editor's at fault, too. Conversely, there are things missing that made me wonder why. For example, the author says repeatedly that Clementine was a great wit - well, let's hear something. No, we never do.

Bottom line: Book was a slog - and to a friend in general - I wouldn't recommend it, unless it is significantly abridged OR the reader is seriously interested in that period of history - from WWI to WWII because it does shine a unique light on that period.

PS: I did learn two unrelated things: the word "louche" and where the Dardenelles are. And I was inspired to read more about what really happened at the Dardenelles and who was responsible.
… (mere)
donwon | 14 andre anmeldelser | Jan 22, 2024 |



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