About A Woman of No Importance The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II (2 Books Collection Set) by Sonia Purnell
‘A METICULOUS HISTORY THAT READS LIKE A THRILLER’ BEN MACINTYRE, TEN BEST BOOKS TO READ ABOUT WORLD WAR II
An astounding story of heroism, spycraft, resistance and personal triumph over shocking adversity.
‘A rousing tale of derring-do’ THE TIMES * ‘Riveting’ MICK HERRON * ‘Superb’ IRISH TIMES
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In September 1941, a young American woman strides up the steps of a hotel in Lyon, Vichy France. Her papers say she is a journalist. Her wooden leg is disguised by a determined gait and a distracting beauty. She is there to spark the resistance.
By 1942 Virginia Hall was the Gestapo’s most urgent target, having infiltrated Vichy command, trained civilians in guerrilla warfare and sprung soldiers from Nazi prison camps. The first woman to go undercover for British SOE, her intelligence changed the course of the war – but her fight was still not over.
This is a spy history like no other, telling the story of the hunting accident that disabled her, the discrimination she fought and the secret life that helped her triumph over shocking adversity.
‘A cracking story about an extraordinarily brave woman’ TELEGRAPH
‘Gripping .. superb .. a rounded portrait of a complicated, resourceful, determined and above all brave woman’ IRISH TIMES
WINNER of the PLUTARCH AWARD FOR BEST BIOGRAPHY.
About the Author
Sonia Purnell is the highly acclaimed biographer, journalist and public speaker whose New York Times bestselling book ‘A Woman of No Importance’ about the heroic American one-legged spy Virginia Hall is out now. The tale of extraordinary derring-do has been acclaimed as ‘one of the most breathtaking stories yet told of female courage behind enemy lines’ and has been optioned by JJ Abrams and Bad Robot in tandem with Paramount Studios for a major Hollywood movie with Daisy Ridley attached to star. Her book is one of USA Today’s Five Must Reads and has been hailed as ‘gripping’ by NPR and ‘a very smooth read about a rocky life’ andas ‘brilliant’ by the Irish Times while The Economist said: ‘As tales of wartime derring-do go, it would be hard to beat’. ‘It’s a joy to read,’ said Booklist, ‘ and will swell readers’ hearts with pride.’ Sonia’s book has also been hailed as one of the best Books of the Year in The Times of London. Details of forthcoming lectures in the US will appear shortly on her website www.soniapurnell.com
Her last book – the bestselling Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill’ – also received fulsome praise on both sides of the Atlantic and was shortlisted for the Plutarch prize for Best Biography of the Year. Critics hailed it as ‘admirable’, ‘engrossing’, ‘eye-opening’, ‘scrupulous’ ‘enthralling’ ‘compellingly readable’ and ‘full of surprises.’ Praise poured in from such esteemed sources as Lynne Olson, the Wall Street Journal, Amanda Foreman, Miranda Seymour, Margaret MacMillan and Blanche Wiesen Cook. The Daily Telegraph and Independent named it as one of the best books of 2015. Members of the Churchill family have also given a warm welcome to a work that drew on a variety of new sources, as well as the considerable expertise and material of the Churchill Archives in Cambridge and the Imperial War Museum in London.
The book is also published in the UK under the title, First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill. Sonia’s first work ‘Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition’ was long-listed for the Orwell prize for best political writing and was variously described as ‘brilliant’ ‘rollicking’ and ‘devastating’. A distinguished journalist and commentator, Sonia lives in London with her husband and two sons.