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Nancy Wake Audiobook

Nancy Wake

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Publisher's Summary

In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was a young woman enjoying a bohemian life in Paris. By the end of the Second World War, she was the Gestapo's most wanted person. As a naive, young journalist, Nancy Wake witnessed a horrific scene of Nazi violence in a Viennese street. From that moment, she declared that she would do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazis.

What began as a courier job here and there became a highly successful escape network for Allied soldiers, perfectly camouflaged by Nancy's high-society life in Marseille. Her network was soon so successful – and so notorious – that she was forced to flee France to escape the Gestapo, who had dubbed her 'the white mouse' for her knack of slipping through its traps. But Nancy was a passionate enemy of the Nazis and refused to stay away.

Supplying weapons and training members of a powerful underground fighting force, organising Allied parachute drops, cycling four hundred kilometres across a mountain range to find a new transmitting radio – nothing seemed too difficult in her fight against the Nazis. Peter FitzSimons reveals Nancy Wake's compelling story, a tale of an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things.

©2002 Peter Fitzsimons (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Canning Hastings, Australia 09-18-11
    Canning Hastings, Australia 09-18-11
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    "Nancy Wake"

    Such an amazing woman for her time. Her sheer bravery and spirit of mateship and battling for the underdog is so typical of many of Australia's great characters but what made this all the more remarkable is that she was a young, energetic woman who made a stand and fought for what she believed in at huge personal cost. That her story is so largely unknown to mainstream Australia is a shame and deserves to be told. The author wrote with such feminine insight that it was a joy to listen to and he really captured the essence of the gutsy woman that was Nancy Wake. Her end in London was so sad with little recognition from Australia for her truly remarkable war contributions. I hope her recent death reinvigorates interest in her story. She is a national treasure that we should have great pride in.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-29-14
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-29-14 Member Since 2017
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    "a Hero"

    “Nancy Wake: A Biography of our Greatest War Heroine” by Peter FitzSimons was published in 2010. FitzSimons is an Australian journalist. Nancy Wake was the most decorated women from World War II. FitzSimons’ well-paced and compelling biography is well-documented. FitzSimons drew his research from earlier biographies such as Russell Braddon’s “Nancy Wake: the Story of a Very Brave Woman” published in 1956 and Wake’s autobiography “The White Mouse” published in 1985. FitzSimons also had many interviews with Nancy Wake as well as fellow agents, resistance fighters and Colonel Buckmaster. Buckmaster was head of the British Special operations (BSO).

    Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1912. The book covers her early childhood in New Zealand and Australia. After she finished school she moved to England where she learned to be a journalist. She obtained a job as a European correspondent for the Hearst Newspaper and was stationed in Paris. In the 1930’s she witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement. She reports seeing roving Nazi gangs beat Jewish men and women in the streets of Vienna.

    In 1937 Wake married wealthy French industrialist Henri Edmond Fiocca (1898-1943). They were living in Marseille, France when Germany invaded. Nancy became a courier for the French Resistance, then help set up the escape network to help escaping allied soldiers and Jews. The Gestapo called her “The White Mouse”. She became the most wanted person by the Gestapo with a reward for her capture. She had to escape to Britain herself where she was recruited by Colonel Buckmaster. She was trained by the British Special Operations and parachuted into Auvergne, France in 1944. She led over 7000 Maquis, equipping them with the latest arms from England, training them and leading them on assigned (BSO) attacks against the Germans. At the end of the war Wake learned her husband was tortured and killed by the Gestapo because he would not reveal her whereabouts.

    FitzSimons’ narrative authentically captures the tone and atmosphere of Wake’s hazardous life. He breathtakingly describes her escapades against the Germans. Wake died in a Veterans home in England on 7 August 2011. For those of you who read German, I understand German author Michael Jurgs wrote a biography of Wake called “Nancy Wake and her fight against the Gestapo in France”. It was published October 2012. Stephanie Daniels did a good job narrating the book and pronouncing all the French names. If you are interested in history and women in war you will enjoy this book.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion Cronulla, Australia 10-24-11
    Marion Cronulla, Australia 10-24-11 Member Since 2014
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    "A true Australian Heroine"

    What a joy to listen to Peter FitzSimons's biography of this incredible lady's or maybe larrikin's is a better word, biography and narrated as though by Nancy herself. Having grown up in WW2, with my father and brother participating, my memories are very clear of the stories of courage during that time. Mr FitzSimon writes great books and articles and I downloaded this book with relish and was not disappointed.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tarindu Auckland, New Zealand 12-14-16
    Tarindu Auckland, New Zealand 12-14-16 Member Since 2017
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    "What an Incredible Story"

    Nancy Wake epitomises the type of person that the many of us would love to emulate. This book describes a true real life legend from her humble beginnings and through her incredible journey and service through the War.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary K Best La Grange, Ky United States 12-05-16
    Gary K Best La Grange, Ky United States 12-05-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book"

    A very well written book about a great lady. A true must read. This book should be required reading for all who still believe in the weaker sex. I would sure want her on my side.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lina 02-07-16
    Lina 02-07-16
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    "Loved it"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this historical story about Nancy Wake. What an amazing woman. So sad that after all her bravery that she lost the one she so loved though. Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paddington Sydney, Australia 07-21-13
    Paddington Sydney, Australia 07-21-13 Listener Since 2010
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    "So glad I read this one!"

    Peter Fitzsimmons has written this remarkable story with a great understanding of Nancy as a forthright gusty Australian woman of her time. She also had a great appreciation of French and British culture. Most unusual for her day as an Australian, she was so obviously bilingual speaking French fluently. Stephanie Daniel reads this story beautifully.
    It is not surprising that Nancy was well recognised by the French, Americans and British for her courage and valuable service in WW2 with the Resistance in France under extremely dangerous circumstances.
    As an Australian whose father fought in WW2 and mother did a "man's" job of management during the War, I found this story fascinating and inspiring. I had not been aware of what Nancy actually did until I came across this book. It is so well written, just a joy to hear.
    Highly recommended, most worthwhile.




    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy J Tornado Alley OK 07-02-13
    Nancy J Tornado Alley OK 07-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Remarkable Tale of a Strong, Courageous Woman"

    Peter FitzSimons tells the life story of an extraordinary Australian heroine in Nancy Wake. Nancy Wake grew up poor in Australia after her father abandoned the family about 1915 when Nancy was 2 or 3. At 16 she ran away from the city to the outback and worked as a nurse.

    At 18, she inherited a small sum from an aunt and went by ship to New York, where she learned to party, and then on to London, where she became a journalist and continued the party life. While on assignment in Vienna during the 30's, Nancy watched Nazi gangs beating Jews at random in the streets and vowed she would do anything she could to defeat Hitler. In 1939, she married a wealthy Frenchman and lived in Marseilles, living the high life of drinking and parties.

    After the fall of France in 1940, Nancy acted as a courier for the Resistance, and also became part of an escape network which helped thousand of Allied troops escape to England. Despite the danger, she continued the work after Marseilles was occupied and became the Gestapo's most wanted person, with a reward of 5 million francs offered. After being arrested and rescued, she escaped to Spain by crossing the Pyrenees mountains on foot.

    Back in England Nancy trained with Special Operations and parachuted back into the Auvergne region of France to liaise with the local maquis group. She gained acceptance and respect from the fighting men by drinking them all under the table and then by being braver than all of them. By the end of the war, her maquis group had grown to 7,000 plus, and had a remarkable fighting record.

    How can you not like a woman who, while dangling from a tree by her parachute, replies to a Frenchman's remark about the beautiful fruit of the tree, "Don't give me that French s---!"

    FitzSimons tells Nancy's story in a somewhat journalistic style. Nancy lived to be 98 and died in 2011, so he had the opportunity to talk with her many times and make it a more personal story than a straight biography. She was a very colorful, down to earth person, and her personal recollections add to the enjoyment of the narrative. Stephanie Daniel does an excellent job of narration.

    Fascinating and entertaining.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Gregory Indianapolis, IN USA 02-16-13
    Teresa Gregory Indianapolis, IN USA 02-16-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A Rip-Snort of a Good Tale"

    What a great story. A girl with more curiosity and determination than sense left her home in Australia and found herself in the middle of France during WWII.

    This is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, but one of the things I most enjoyed about it was that the author did not paint Nancy as a saint. She smoked and swore and could out-drink most men. She was willful and had some definite personality quirks. I had to keep reminding myself how young she was and the attitudes of the time. (She was just a few years older than my mother.) All this made it much more interesting for me.

    I am so glad that I saw this book. It would make great reading for young women, late high school and college age.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Wendouree, Australia 01-29-13
    John Wendouree, Australia 01-29-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Disappointed with audio book."
    What would have made Nancy Wake better?

    The story lacked intrigue


    Would you ever listen to anything by Peter FitzSimons again?

    Probably not


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Nancy Wake - for me a great Australian whose history is intriguing. The book did not capture this for me.


    What character would you cut from Nancy Wake?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    I think the story suffered from the style of Peter FitzSimons' writing. Very pedestrian style.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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