I expected to like the book. I like biographies in general and biographies of strong women in particular. I generally knew the story about Nancy Wake and I was in the Navy during the Vietnam war era. But what I was not prepared for was how gripping the story would be! Even though I knew the ending, even though I knew that she survived the war, it is an incredible story. The combination of the vivid writing and the top-notch narration made me feel like I was watching a movie of Nancy Wake's life. I was riding right along beside her in that airplane when she was dropped into France. And when she finally got her bus I laughed out loud. Imagine trying to hide something in the woods like that from German patrols! By the time I reached the end of the book I was trembling with emotion.
For anyone who wants to carry this a bit further there is a BBC series which is available on amazon video (no, I don't work for Amazon) called Wish Me Luck which is about the SOE and the work they did with the French Resistance in WWII.
Many other reviewers have better put into words what I am endeavoring to do. Nancy Wake was an incredibly brave young woman during World War II, leading a platoon of soldiers in the middle of nowhere, facing gunfire, no communication, and the deprivation of war.
Peter Fitzsimons obviously researched her life, spoke with her at length, and got to know his subject well.
Stephanie Daniel, with the exceptionof some awkward pronunciations ("Es-cuh-peees"), did a wonderful job narrating this book. I have read some unfavorable views of her narrating novels, but found as a biography narrator, she did an excellent job.
I am very glad I read this book, and will be looking for more Peter Fitzsimons, and Stephanie Daniel narrations (biographies) in the future.
I would listen to this story again because it was so rich in detail. Nancy is worth getting to know really well. The history is true and came alive in my head; it was incredibly well written.
I have not listened to Stephanie Daniel before but would look for her again. Especialy if it had a European setting. Her pronounciation of the French words (which I would have had to glide right over had it been a book in print) really added to the story.
Not knowing about Nancy ahead of time, I was "on the edge of my seat" throughout her adventures. I laughed and cried and cheered. It would be difficult to pick any one moment.
What a herione!!! Amazed I had never heard of her before! When I started it, I thought it was a novel. When I realized it was a biography, I went to the internet to find out more. I LOVED it!
The story lacked intrigue
Nancy Wake - for me a great Australian whose history is intriguing. The book did not capture this for me.
I think the story suffered from the style of Peter FitzSimons' writing. Very pedestrian style.
This story gripped me from the beginning. Couldn't stop listening! The courage and tenacity of Nancy and other members of the resistance was inspiring. The characters came to life.
I truly enjoyed listening to this biography of a most extraordinary woman/person. It was a great listen about the life and heroism of a woman who often seemed to "stumble" onto the amazing and fascinating path her life followed. She was a woman of great tenacity, perseverance, and courage as well as flair and wit. The book spans her entire life but is primarily focused on the period prior to and during WWII. I am glad the book covered her early and later life as well. I highly recommend this book and would enjoy reading more books about similarly extraordinary real women during WWII and otherwise.
I would recommend this a friend. The story is another incredible tale of WWII, one with which I was not familiar. I wish the writer created more story and less telling about the story.
Yes, I would try another book, but I didn't think his approach to writing this book did the story justice. Without the amazing story to build on, I wouldn't have enjoyed listening as much. It got a bit long.
Good reading, no complaints.
I enjoy discovering new stories from this time period, It is quite amazing just how many interesting events happened to "ordinary" people. Reading stories about WWII from different perspectives, county locations, and different people's jobs or involvement helps round out my overall understanding and appreciation of how much was happening concurrently in so many different places and to so many different people.
Enjoyed this portrayal of the human potential under extreme circumstances contrasted with the adjustment to normal life. Great listen.
I am a glass artist, working from my studio at home. Audio books keep my mind stimulated while my hands are busy.
written from Nancy's point of view as well as the biographer's, refreshing kind of biography, without guile. the post script is just as refreshing, as we are allowed a short glimpse of the descent, life after the mountain peak has been reached. WHAT A STORY!
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
This book is all to positive for the protagonist - Nancy Wake. It needs to have some mud thrown at it with other opinions, self-doubt, failures and real mistakes. It all seems that she made it all happen and directed what was going on. She did in many cases, but every hero is human and so should tell us their short comings to help us relate to them, otherwise they do tend to become two dimensional.
Stephanie Daniel is an excellent narrator and her mastery of French is excellent. The material she had to work with was a little below what she is capable of but she made a good go of it. She made this book good.
Give it a go.
I don't like Nancy Wake but that is a personality clash rather than anything she has done that is wrong. She has done some great things, believed in what she was doing, did it in a professional way. She has suffered many loses and had some great rewards. This book describes the hero journey well but there is no 'golden fleece' necessarily at the end. Her story may be embellished and very central focus like many soldiers do, but she has been in combat and so has the right.
As for Peter FitzSimons, I have read many of his books and listen to a few. I generally don't like his style although he can tell a story and he is a likeable chap. Why did I bother to read this book then not liking Nancy or Peter, well because I wanted the story and although the subject and author is not to my liking, I wanted to get a general overview of it and this was a good way. Don't expect a book to change your life, but as for a good yarn, this is a good book.