Download A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II Audiobook

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II Audiobook, by Sonia Purnell Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sonia Purnell Narrator: Juliet Stevenson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2019 ISBN: 9781984842725
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The never-before-told story of Virginia Hall, the American spy who changed the course of the World War II, from the author of Clementine

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her."

The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare." She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and--despite her prosthetic leg--helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.

Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.

Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall--an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Fast-paced, meticulously researched…a gripping account of an extraordinary woman, and a celebration of courage, ingenuity and grit. Shelf Awareness
  • Purnell vividly resurrects an underappreciated hero and delivers an enthralling story of wartime intrigue…fans of WWII history and women’s history will be riveted. Publishers Weekly
  • Purnell’s writing is as precise and engaging as her research, and this book restores overdue attention to one of the world’s great war heroes. It’s a joy to read, and it will swell readers' hearts with pride. Booklist, Starred Review
  • A groundbreaking biography that reads like a spy thriller…a suspenseful, heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant tale of heroism and sacrifice. BookPage, Starred Review
  • A remarkable chronicle...this lively examination…shows how, if Hall had been a man, dropping undercover in and out of occupied Vichy, Paris, and Lyon, setting up safe houses, and coordinating couriers for the Resistance, she would now be as famous as James Bond…Meticulous research results in a significant biography of a trailblazer who now has a CIA building named after her. Kirkus
  • Impressively researched and compellingly written, this brilliant biography puts Virginia Hall−and her prosthetic leg, Cuthbert−back where they belong : right in the heart of Resistance history. Clare Mulley, author of The Women Who Flew for Hitler: A True Story of Soaring Ambition and Searing Rivalry
  • In this astonishing, intriguing book, Sonia Purnell presents one of the most breathtaking stories yet told of female courage behind enemy lines. Its strength lies not only in Purnell’s intimate and moving portrayal of Virginia’s secret work, but also in the new light shed on the betrayal, bravery, and bungling of Churchill’s Special Operations Executive for which Virginia worked. Sarah Helm, author of Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women
  • What a fascinating story! Sonia Purnell skillfully takes you deep into the covert operations Virginia Hall led in Nazi-occupied France. Readers will find this tale of her cunning and courage riveting. Douglas Waller, author of Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage
  • A BookPage Top Pick of the Month in Biographies

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About the Author

Sonia Purnell is a biographer and journalist who has worked at the London Economist, Telegraph, and the Sunday Times. Her book Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill was chosen as a Book of the Year by the London Telegraph and Independent and was a finalist for the Plutarch Award. Her first book, Just Boris, was long–listed for the Orwell prize.

About the Narrator

Juliet Stevenson has won the prestigious Audie Award and numerous Earphones Awards for her narrations. She is a British actress on stage and screen and notably a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has also appeared in popular films such as Bend It Like Beckham and Mona Lisa Smile. She was honored as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. She received further recognition when she was nominated for several BAFTA Awards, and she earned an Olivier Award for her role in Death and the Maiden.