The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff is an adult historical fiction novel by the same author of The Orphan’s Tale.
It’s 1946 in New York City, the war is over and Grace Healey is attempting to rebuild her life after losing her husband. One morning, running late to work, Grace is passing through Grand Central Station when she trips over an unattended suitcase. Unable to ignore her curiosity, she looks through the bag and finds photographs of twelve women. In the moment, Grace grabs the photos and goes on her way.
Later, Grace learns that the suitcase belongs to the recently deceased, Eleanor Trigg, the leader of a group of female secret agents, sent to infiltrate occupied Paris before the start of the war. She become obsessed with finding the truth of Eleanor and the girl’s stories.
And so begins the story of Grace as she hunts for the truth, Eleanor as she creates and runs the resistance, and Marie, one of the female operators who never came home.
This was a good story but, I must be reading too much historical fiction lately, because my feelings toward it are only so-so.
One of the main problems I had with the book was that the story-lines, specifically Marie’s, had no build up. I felt like there was a beginning and an ending but no middle. I understand that emotions run high during wartime but there really needed to be at least some relationship building. It was like a chunk of Marie’s story and even to some extent Eleanor’s story was left out.
I did like reading about the female agents, how they were recruited and trained and also how the men came to really rely on them. Women’s role in early conflicts are always interesting to learn about.
This one probably deserves more than three stars but for now, I am historical fiction-ed out.
That’s all for now!