Our meeting will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, using Zoom. You can join this Zoom session via computer or phone. Email Cathe Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions; register online here.
A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell
The never-before-told story of one of America’s greatest spies, a young woman from Baltimore called Virginia Hall. Rejected by the American foreign service, she talked her way into Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive, and was sent as into occupied France in August 1941, the first woman secret agent to be placed there. Over the next four years, Hall became a resourceful and fearless operative, respected by the French Resistance, and wanted as the notorious ‘limping lady’ by France’s Nazi commanders. Sonia Purnell brings the intrepid Virginia Hall to life with a novelist’s skill and style.
Kirkus Reviews calls A Woman of No Importance “a remarkable chronicle of a courageous woman who had to fight for every ounce of recognition she deserved. This is a lively and meticulously researched biography of a trailblazer who now has a CIA building [a training facility called the Virginia Hall Expeditionary Center] named after her.”
The Economist said this: “As tales of wartime derring-do go, it would be hard to beat that of Virginia Hall…With her thriller writer’s style and copious new research, Purnell has written a fitting and moving tribute to an amazing woman.”
Sonia Purnell is an author, journalist and speaker, respected in Britain for her popular biographies of Clementine Churchill and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Her website has details on her career and work. She lives in London.
Sonia Purnell appeared on C-Span in April 2019 to discuss this book. Here is a link to the 40-minute recording.
Film rights have been sold, and actress Daisy Ridley is set to star as Virginia Hall.
April 13, Second Tuesday Book Club at 7 p.m.
Join a live discussion of our April title, Sonia Purnell’s A Woman of No Importance on Zoom.