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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

The Shabbiness Of Wartime France

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky - Simon Mawer

Set during World War Two, The Girl Who Fell From The Sky is the story of Marian Sutro, a young Anglo-French woman parachuted into occupied France by the Special Operations Executive to help run an espionage network in the south west.

With its focus on identity and loyalty, it's an intelligent, well-crafted thriller drawing its power from the inner world of its protagonist, where fear is an ever present backdrop, overshadowing friendship, love and sex, making the simplest judgement complex and the most cherished memory untrustworthy.

I felt a little unsatisfied by the ending. Nevertheless, it's a gripping story that convincingly portrays the shabbiness of wartime France in its daily accommodations with the Nazis and the claustrophobia of those who struggled to nurture the spark of resistance.