Ciji Ware's latest novel Landing by Moonlight delves into the thrilling lives of WWII spies, in particular, women intelligence agents. If you like WWII stories, don't miss this one. You can also enter the giveaway to win a copy!
Book Title: Landing by Moonlight: a Novel of WWII by Ciji Ware
Category: Adult Fiction, 476 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Publisher: Lion’s Paw Publishing
Release date: October 15, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Several explicit sex scenes, adultery, and mature subject matter of the horrors of war)
Based on the lives of a small group of American women secret agents working for British intelligence parachuting into France to help the Resistance during WW II.
The year is 1942, and American secret agent Catherine Thornton has no idea whether she will be dropped behind enemy lines in an inflatable raft launched from a submarine or be flung through the moonlit sky from a low-flying British Halifax. Either way, the young embassy wife and erstwhile journalist knows there’s always the chance she’ll be picked off by German sharpshooters, although nothing in her imagination prepares her for the trial-by-fire to come.
Only she understands why she volunteered for such “unwomanly warfare” and the secret reasons she joined a handful of female American spies destined to risk her gilded life on French soil–yet former Vichy diplomat Henri Leblanc, code name Claude Foret, thinks he knows the answers.
As Catherine’s missions grow more harrowing each day, and she fears she’s fallen in love with a captured fellow agent, the German SS begin to close in on the world of Madame “Colette Durand” and her Résistance network embedded in coastal cities along the French Riviera—an exposure that could threaten the Allied victory itself.
And hanging in the air like a half-opened parachute is the life-or-death question: Who is the betrayer and who will be betrayed in this, their finest hour?
Ciji Ware's latest novel Landing by Moonlight delves into the thrilling lives of WWII spies, in particular, women intelligence agents who were able to get information by using skills in ways men could not. It's a memorable tale, filled with heroic moments and interspersed with sadness and the horrors of an unforgettable war.
Our main character is Catherine Thornton, a wealthy American journalist who craves to follow in her late father's footsteps rather than lead a pampered life in which she is miserable. Catherine is beautiful, intelligent, quick-witted, bold, daring...and not healed from a young life of trauma. It's perhaps this combination that makes her a fascinating character. She is quite fearless and confident, not dwelling on her past, a strong woman that throws herself into danger to save others.
From the beginning, Catherine has an adulterous affair with Henri LeBlanc, and she's almost too blasé about their relationship which made me slow to warm up to her, until I got to know her story better, including her past. Eventually the two fall in love, but they are both spies in a vicious war that takes them apart time and again. I'm glad the author kept their relationship real while focusing primarily on Catherine's work as a spy. There were times, though, that I did want more of an exploration into her psyche - how her past traumas affected her. I wanted to see more of her inner turmoil. She was almost too perfect and got over traumatic events too easily. But on the other hand, perhaps this is how she was meant to be seen, as someone that could move on and do what needed to be done when the going got tough, part of what kept her alive.
I was transported to several places in Europe but loved France best, where Catherine did most of her work with her comrade in arms, Sean Eisenhower, and the network of other spies and members of the French Resistance. This part of the novel was filled with dangerous missions, life in the small towns that were invaded by the German Nazis, descriptions of the Resistance movement, and how war affected all those that experienced it. It's clear that Ciji Ware has done her research and deftly interwoven historical figures with true events into her story.
Fans of WWII stories will be left satisfied as they read about men and women who sacrificed everything to help win the war. According to the author's notes, I was happy to learn that this is the first book in the Spy Sisters Series. I'll definitely look for the next book, and eagerly anticipate learning more about the women who made a difference during WWII.
Disclosure: Thanks to the author and France Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.