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Trapeze | [Simon Mawer]

Trapeze

Barely out of school and doing her bit for the British war effort, Marian Sutro has one quality that makes her stand out—she is a native French speaker. It is this that attracts the attention of the SOE, the Special Operations Executive, which trains agents to operate in occupied Europe. Drawn into this strange, secret world at the age of nineteen, she finds herself undergoing commando training, attending a “school for spies,” and ultimately, one autumn night, parachuting into France from an Royal Air Force bomber to join the Wordsmith resistance network.
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Publisher's Summary

A propulsive novel of World War II espionage by the author of The Glass Room

Barely out of school and doing her bit for the British war effort, Marian Sutro has one quality that makes her stand out—she is a native French speaker. It is this that attracts the attention of the SOE, the Special Operations Executive, which trains agents to operate in occupied Europe. Drawn into this strange, secret world at the age of nineteen, she finds herself undergoing commando training, attending a “school for spies,” and ultimately, one autumn night, parachuting into France from an Royal Air Force bomber to join the Wordsmith resistance network.

But there’s more to Marian’s mission than meets the eye of her SOE controllers; her mission has been hijacked by another secret organization that wants her to go to Paris and persuade a friend—a research physicist—to join the Allied war effort. The outcome could affect the whole course of the war.

A fascinating blend of fact and fiction, Trapeze is both an old-fashioned adventure story and a modern exploration of a young woman’s growth into adulthood. There is violence, and there is love. There is death and betrayal, deception and revelation. But above all there is Marian Sutro, an ordinary young woman who, like her real-life counterparts in the SOE, did the most extraordinary things at a time when the ordinary was not enough.

©2012 Simon Mawer (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A war-torn adventure story that’s eerily erotic and tremendously exciting…[A] gorgeous novel.” (Washington Post on The Glass Room)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (102 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.8 (85 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.0 (85 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Bonny 06-26-12
    Bonny 06-26-12

    Addicted to books, both print and audio-.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    360
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    46
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    FOLLOWING
    40
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Somewhat tedious"

    I loved The Glass Room, and was excited about this book, but I can't bring myself to finish it. I've tried to hang on to get to what other readers say is the exciting last part of the book, but I'm not going to get there (I'm two-thirds through it). The writing is clumsy, repetitive, and too literal. What should be implied is stated obviously, then restated a few times. It seems more like a romance novel than Simon Mawer. I had some difficulty with the narration: I loved Kate Reading in Pride and Prejudice, but here she seems to fall into the style of the book and over-play, over-emphasize the text. The male characters all sound monotonous and dull, due to the lowering of her vocal tone. I would rather have a higher voice with expression!

    I'm disappointed! I really expected to love this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 04-26-13
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 04-26-13 Member Since 2008

    Tell us about yourself!I am an avid reader but enjoy listening while waking to work, ironing, doing dishes, etc. Listening to novels is an entirely different experience than reading; a well narrated story is a cross between drama and written fiction. Listening to books on Audible has been a wonderful experience.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    20
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    0
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    Story
    "tight gripping and believable WW2 espionage"
    What did you love best about Trapeze?

    Gripping story with believable characters


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great listen. It caught my interest immediately. The characters were interesting and the time period ans situation of occupied France was great. I couldn't wait to get to the ironing so I could get back to my listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Indianapolis, IN, United States 03-26-13
    Amazon Customer Indianapolis, IN, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great personal look at history"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the secret lives of women undercover in France, and especially enjoyed the moral questions faced by these very young women who didn't have much life experience upon which to base their choices.

    Well written and excellently read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca King Renton, WA United States 01-03-13
    Rebecca King Renton, WA United States 01-03-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story...distracting narration"
    Any additional comments?

    The story was interesting, but the over-the-top accents made me not want to listen. I might try to read it in print instead because my friends love this book, and I feel like I am missing out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MP 09-21-12
    MP 09-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Story
    "Very good book; excellent narrator"

    An interesting story, well read. It lags a little bit in the middle but the last third is completely gripping.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Nashua 08-06-12
    Lisa Nashua 08-06-12 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastical Fictional History"
    Where does Trapeze rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was a fantastic book, probably in my top 20.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character was amazing. Such a heroine, complex and yet simple.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Anne Hataway would make this story into a fantastic movie as the lead. Is it the Catholic or Protestant spy?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betsy Westerndorf Newburyport, MA 08-06-12
    Betsy Westerndorf Newburyport, MA 08-06-12 Member Since 2000

    consultant and coach

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating Read"

    I felt I was right there with this woman. The plot was laid out so that I was not sure what would happen next. I learned a lot about the resistance and what that life might have been like for an average member. I was sorry when it ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Evans Mississippi 07-15-12
    D. Evans Mississippi 07-15-12 Member Since 2009

    reader 1953

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Trapeze the most enjoyable?

    The Narrater was so good. Enjoyed the story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot was involved and interesting.


    What about Kate Reading???s performance did you like?

    Kate Reading has a wonderful nack for accents.


    Who was the most memorable character of Trapeze and why?

    Which name do we give to Alice?


    Any additional comments?

    I will look for more books by this auther and nannater.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb FAIRFAX, IA, United States 07-03-12
    Deb FAIRFAX, IA, United States 07-03-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Trapeze is a pleasant mix of history and fiction."
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the fact that the romance did not overshadow the rest of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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