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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Review: Her Secret War

Title: Her Secret War
Author: Pam Lecky

Publisher: 14th October 2021 by Avon

Pages: 384 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: historical fiction, world war II 

My Rating: 4 crowns


A moment that ruins her life

On 31st May 1941, Germany drops bombs on neutral Dublin and Sarah Gillespie loses her family and home that fateful night. Days later, the man she loves leaves Ireland to enlist in the RAF.

A decision that changes her life

With nothing to keep her in Ireland and a burning desire to help the war effort, Sarah seeks refuge with relatives in Hampshire, England. But before long, Sarah’s family history catches up with her.

A mission that could cost her life

Sarah is asked to prove her loyalty to Britain through uncovering a spy at Vickers Supermarine, the manufacturers of the legendary Spitfire fighter plane. But to progress with her mission, she must become involved with a fifth columnist. And so the most dangerous game she’s ever played ensues…

My Thoughts

Her Secret War by Pam Lecky is WWII historical fiction that has a little of everything - mystery and suspense, spies and espionage, with a little romance to tie it all together. What is unique with this particular tale is the incorporation of the Irish/IRA aspect of the era - a most worthy and unique inclusion. 

‘Whenever she questioned the appropriateness of revenge as a motive for what she was undertaking, she would recall her sister’s last moments and how she had died, and the anger would flare up once more. It was always there in the background, bubbling away, driving her forward when the doubts threatened to overwhelm her’

The political intrigue is perhaps the key element that sets this tale apart from others of this genre. The unsettled relationship between Britain and Ireland is highlighted in an aspect of history that I was unfamiliar with - would the Irish actually favour Hitler to spite the English? An interesting aspect for the reader’s consideration. 

‘That night would always be a watershed in her life: the world before, when all Sarah Gillespie thought about was books, going to the pictures and nights on the town, and then the painful reality of life after’

Overall the main lead of Sarah is engaging as she is torn between two worlds - literally and figuratively. Her strength and determination in her quest for revenge and to prove herself but still, at times, find herself vulnerable and unsure. The twists will keep you turning the pages until the final surprise which was well played by the author. 

‘Lying was becoming far too easy. Skimming the depths of deceit, although currently necessary, shook her moral compass’

Her Secret War is quality historical fiction with the espionage and political aspect of the narrative adding another dimension to this time period. 

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This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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