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: 1,637
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the author of several books of historical fiction, including the NYT bestseller The Orphan's Tale. She holds a degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her JD from UPenn. Her novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives with her husband and 3 children near Philadelphia, where she teaches law.

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The Lost Girls of Paris 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me captivated. I had to keep reading to see what happens to the girls.
17191174 3 months ago
I saw this book and read the jacket cover and was very intrigued. I am a military veteran and have studied Second World War history the most, so I was looking forward to reading it. Very poor book! It does a disservice to the brave, and often unsung heroism, of women who served during the War, particularly those of the Special Operations Executive (SOE - a UK organization) and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS - the US counterpart of SOE). The book isi fiction based on historical fact, but if you know the history, you know who the author is basing Elanor Trigg on and the presentation is horrible! A simple Google search would all that would have been needed to avoid several, horrible inaccurte presentations given. In example, there is a reference to a "belated honeymoon cruise on the Liner Queen Elizabeth II". This story is set in 1946. The QE II's keel wasn't laid down for construction until 1965! The Lysander aircraft is referred to having a small door. It doesn't; it has a sliding canopy. The US Army officer referred to at Dachau was said to have bars on his collar, but called a Major. A Major's insignia is a gold oak leaf! If you just want to read a fiction story, this is a decent one. But do NOT think that is in anyway an accurate portrayal of the brave women of the Second World War, especially those of SOE. Methods, techniques, and equipment portrayed are inaccurate. In my opinion, and my opinion alone, I do not feel this is a good book. I applaud the author for the long hours of work that was put into the publishing of this book, but they should have done more accurate research. I wish the author well and hope that this negative review compels them to do better in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year 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 17 days ago
Pam Jenoff weaves a story that is fictional yet believable. I found myself not able to put it down. Her characters were as real to me as actual, living persons. Her writing pulled me in and made me feel strong emotions toward the characters and because of their situations and experiences. I found myself deeply engaged with the characters as if I was living their stories with them.
Anonymous 20 days ago
loved this book
eadieburke 21 days ago
The setting is 1946 Manhattan. The story is mainly about friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female secret agents during WWII. Grace Healy finds an abandoned suitcase at Grand Central Terminal with photos of women who never returned home from the war. Grace is determined to find out what happened to them. The plot is inspired by true events. It was definitely a thought-provoking and captivating book The story is told from three points of views. Pam Jenoff shows how government barters with individual‘s lives. I look forward to reading more of Pam Jenoff's book. I would highly recommend this novel to those who love historical fiction especially during or after WW II.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Enjoyed the story, the ending was a page turner.
AmandaLeeC 4 months ago
I love the idea of The Lost Girls of Paris. I was really looking forward to reading about the women of the Special Operations Executive. Unfortunately, it wasn't executed well and fell flat. The book focuses on three women in two timelines. I was intrigued by this but it ended up not working for me, so much of the later timeline (Grace in 1946) seemed pointless and just a way to push the story along. I don't understand all of Grace's thoughts towards an abandoned suitcase in Grand Central Station, why she'd open it or take anything, and why she'd go on a crusade to find women in a picture. Her lack of motivation irritated me and made every scene with her feel pointless, she distracted from what should have been the main story - Eleanor and her girls. If she had motivation to be looking into these women, her POV probably would have been much better. The earlier timeline (1944) involves Eleanor, who was in charge of the female operatives, and Marie, one of her agents. I'm still unclear as to why Eleanor would have been put in charge of secret agents, other than she came up with the suggestion. Marie should not have been put into the field, she was too untrained and unprepared. She made SO MANY stupid decisions, ones that go against both her training and common sense. She put herself in needless danger and I don't understand why. I wish we got more about what actually happened in France during the war, a lot seemed to be tossed in very vaguely (i.e. the bridge - i'd have enjoyed more about that). Then there's romance thrown in, I was not impressed with this unnecessary addition. Two out of the three main women were distracted by a man. Grace by her deceased husband's best friend and Marie by her non-French speaking leader (while in occupied France). It's another thing that doesn't make sense, Marie barely knows him and they have no meaningful conversations; he's another excuse for her to make poor decisions. I love a good romance but this book could have done without them, it was so unneeded and forced. I will say that the last 20% or so was my favourite, minus, of course, Grace's unnecessary nosy self being in the mix. This book had so much potential but it just didn't hit the mark.
Mbhills 4 months ago
I love learning about real events in history and especially strong women who played a part. So often those women are ignored and it is important for books like this one to be published. This book talked about 3 different women and I enjoyed all three of their stories. The first story is about Grace. She discovers a suitcases filled with photographs and is determined to find more about these women and who they are. One of the photographs shows Marie. Marie is a single mother who is recruited to be a spy for England. She travels to France in order to help the Allies mission. The third story is about Eleanor who is the driving force behind the women as spies mission. A very enjoyable read!
bbb57 5 months ago
Best read of 2019 for me. Captivating characters and suspense. I read it in two sittings.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I truly enjoyed this book, could not put it down. Beautifully written. I will definitely be reading more from this author.
Anonymous 6 months 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 7 months ago
Anonymous 7 months 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 7 months ago
Totally engrossing and fantastic read.
Anonymous 7 months 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 7 months 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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