The Lost Girls of Paris

The Lost Girls of Paris

by Pam Jenoff

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A New York Times Bestseller

Cosmopolitan Best Book Club Book of 2019

PopSugar Must-Read Book of 2019

Glamour Best Book of 2019

“Fraught with danger, filled with mystery, and meticulously researched,
The Lost Girls of Paris is a fascinating tale of the hidden women who helped to win the war.” —Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

“Pam Jenoff’s meticulous research and gorgeous historical world-building lift her books to must-buy status. An intriguing mystery and a captivating heroine make
The Lost Girls of Paris a read to savor!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

From the author of the runaway bestseller
The Orphan’s Tale comes a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female secret agents during World War II.

1946, Manhattan

One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a network of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460398760
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 124
File size: 845 KB

About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the author of several books of historical fiction, including the NYT bestseller The Orphan's Tale. She holds a degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her JD from UPenn. Her novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives with her husband and 3 children near Philadelphia, where she teaches law.

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The Lost Girls of Paris 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
This book kept me captivated. I had to keep reading to see what happens to the girls.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 10 months ago
gaele 11 months ago
Told in three different voices, in three timeframes, Jenoff gives us the story of operations through the SOE, a British wartime branch dedicated to working with in country organizations and resistance groups to cause upheaval in the German plans: from moving personnel and supplies to actually setting bombs to destroy infrastructure while providing a constant stream of “boots on the ground’ information through various radio dispatches. In actual fact, the SOE operatives were clandestine and unless male, unrecognized by the British government, and with an average lifespan of six months (at best), this is a huge ask requiring all who are chosen and agreed to do their part some of the bravest, yet least recognized in the fight. Using a mix of facts and fictions, Jenoff manages to tell a story that brings us through the first consideration of women in the front lines to the dissolution and search for answers for 12 missing women. Told in three voices from three women in very different places and positions, Grace, Eleanor and Marie all share their fears, hopes, activities and struggles to make places for themselves as they make a difference. Grace’s perspective in 1946 brings a touch of mystery to the story: her discovery of a case tucked under a bench in Grand Central, and the dozen photographs of young women contained inside fits neatly into her own personal upheaval, and allows her a new focus that isn’t her own situation, grief, guilt or lack of real direction since her husband’s death before deployment. Working for an attorney who is constantly ‘on’ and developed a network of ‘connections’ who may be able to help her answer who the girls are, she’s also got her husband’s best friend, a lawyer in DC, and if she can overcome the mixture of guilt and attraction, a person who also could help her to answer the ‘why’ and ‘who’. Grace takes us through the US side of the records, making assumptions that are, but for one, correct and finding a sort of ‘peace’ in the answers she uncovers. Eleanor and Marie are more the bits of the story that are ‘as it happens’ on the ground. Eleanor has managed, despite her Polish routes and being a refugee, risen to the top of the SOE as admin and personal secretary to the director. Her organization, clear thinking, determination and a photographic memory have made her indispensable (for the moment) and when she suggests (and rightly so) that women are recruited to operate in country and work as agents in France, she is the one tasked with recruiting and organizing their training and deployment. Determined to make her ‘girls’ relevant and use their skills to perform under the nose of the Germans, her recruits come from everywhere, and her knowledge of them is encyclopedic. It is when she recruits Marie, a single unwed mother born to privilege with a French mother that our tale of the organization truly takes off. We follow Marie through her training, her deployment and her life in France, getting to know other members of the large cell she works with, the leaders and the other members, until her eventual capture by the Germans and her realization that someone, up in the offices of London has betrayed them all. It is Grace’s story that ties all of this together as she pulls all the pieces together, pieces that Eleanor was slowly gathering and providing these women with a voice and story. Unknown and unacknowledged, it will take Grace’s determination with a surprising cohort to bring the story of the “
CharJones2525 12 days ago
Jenoff’s mesmerizing newest hits my sweet spot: WWII intrigue with brave female spies part of the Resistance who never return home. A grand tale unearthing their fate, beautifully written, meticulously researched, one of my faves this year for certain! 5 of the 5 Heartiest Stars! Pub Date 29 Jan 2019. Available on Amazon. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheLostGirlsOfParis #NetGalley
Anonymous 13 days ago
norway_girl 17 days ago
It's not "The Nightingale" or "The Alice Network", but wonderful just the same... I guess I have a favorite genre...historical fiction, specifically 1930 to 1950 and I am particularly drawn to WWII resistance/espionage plots. If they have heroic main characters and a little dabble of wartime romance then I have a winner. This book fits the bill and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now, I also read The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn, which in my opinion was better, but Ms Jenoff's novel kept me glued to my seat turning page after page. This was a very good story of the women from Great Britain who were trained to be radio operators and couriers of vital information in the spy networks of France prior to D-Day. They were not combatants and if discovered would not be protected by the Geneva Convention, yet they used their skills to subvert the Nazi's and provide a vital communications link between London and France. What I enjoyed most about this was the two main voices or story lines are separated only by two years. So the "before" is still as fresh as the "after". Also there is no confusion following both narratives. If you enjoyed The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, The Alice Network, The Radio Girls, Lilac Girls then this will certainly satisfy.
kdunk 18 days ago
By westkl Absolutely loved this book! Historical fiction, particularly Civil War/WWI/WWII are my favorite reads. I enjoyed reading from the points of view of Eleanor, Marie, and Grace. Grace, recently widowed is living in NYC 1946 and one day finds a suitcase at Grand Central Station. In it she finds personal effects, including some photos that intrigue her. She soon learns the case belonged to Eleanor Trigg. The book flashes back to Eleanor's time in Britain's SOE (Special Operations Executive). She starts as a secretary and ends up in charge of the SOE's experimental division of female spies. She oversees the choosing and hiring of the individual women. The book continues to follow one of these brave young women, Marie, as she goes through training and is eventually deployed to begin missions. Based loosely on true events, this book kept me reading until well into the night. Highly recommend if you like books such as Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale and Kate Quinn's The Alice Network.
MamaHendo 25 days ago
Grace is late to work...again. Making matters worse her route to the office is blocked by a fatal car accident forcing her to have to cut through Grand Central Station. Grace hasn't set foot in Grand Central since that fateful day Tom failed to meet her. With no other options she sets off on a quick sprint. Mid-dash she catches her leg on an object, an abandoned suitcase. She surveys the area for an owner but when she spies no one she decides to take a look inside. Its contents point to a female owner but the thing that really catches Grace's eye is an envelope containing twelve photographs of women, some in uniform. Without explanation, Grace decides to replace the suitcase but pockets the envelope of the girls and goes on her way. Unbeknownst to Grace, this simple act will involve her in an adventure that takes her and the reader back in time two years and across the ocean to uncover the secrets of the women of British SOE during WWII. "The Lost Girls of Paris" is a multi-POV/dual-timeline story that gives a voice to the many brave civilian men and women who were willing to anonymously risk their lives in order to help the Allies defeat the Germans. Pam Jenoff has written a page-turning piece of historical fiction that any fan of this genre should add to their TBR list immediately.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Very well written unknown historical tale of the role that British women played in the clandestine efforts to end World War II.
GratefulGrandma 4 months ago
Wow, I loved this fascinating and unforgettable story, inspired by true events. I did not know about this group of handpicked British female spies/radio operators who were sent to France by a top secret government division (SOE) during WWII. After completing rigorous training in Scotland, they were dropped into France, with fake papers passing them off as French Citizens. They put themselves at great risk working with the resistance and communicating information back to Britain in order to cripple the Germans. This is a dual timeline story (although it is only a few years between) introducing us to some strong female characters. The POVs in the book come from Eleanor Trigg, who works in Britain recruiting and training the women, Marie, one of the operatives, and Grace, a woman who is trying to learn about the women whose pictures she finds in an abandoned suitcase in Grand Central Station. There were other characters in the story who also added so much to this book and gave us insights into all that was going on between 1944 and 1946. These characters are going to linger with me for quite awhile. The author, Pam Jenoff, has penned a wonderful story based on these events. The story moves seamlessly between times and settings. The story had enough suspense to keep me up last at night to find out what was going to happen to Marie, Vesper, Will, Josie and the other operatives. Eleanor has her own history that we learn about that gives her the strength and conviction to take on the task given to her. I could go on and on, but will stop there. This was an amazing story about a little known group of women who deeply affected the outcome of WWII. I am glad they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. . If you enjoy historical fiction, you do not want to miss this! My one tiny critique was that I could have done without the romance. I want to thank the publisher, Park Row, for generously providing me a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Anonymous 4 months ago
It is hard to choose my favourite aspect of The Lost Girls of Paris as the entire book was amazing. Although, I must say that I really loved the fierce female characters in the book. The story is told from the perspectives of 3 different women. There is Grace, who discovers the suitcase and photographs of the missing SOE women. Her actions are daring and determined. Also, Eleanor is a secretary for the SOE (Special Operations Executive in Britain) who becomes the leader of the female agents being trained. I found her to be a bit abrasive, but it fits with her position and title. Lastly, there is Marie, an agent who’s story of perseverance, skill, and hardship is sometimes terrifying to read.
Debable 4 months ago
Based on real people, The Lost Girls of Paris details the lives of three women between 1943 and 1946. Historical fiction, mystery, and light romance - I was intrigued from the start and read the fast paced book quickly. Eleanor is a smart, feisty British woman with a can-do attitude. She cares for the women she trains, but is not the type to show feelings. Marie is recruited as a secret agent because of her French language skills. Initially ill-suited to war duties, she grows in both skills and courage. Grace’s story is not quite as compelling as the others. A war widow, now living in New York City, Grace stumbles into both mystery and romance. Too many circumstances line up to help her learn the mystery of the Lost Girls of Paris. Currently WWII historical novels are being published by the tankful. Jenoff does an excellent job of including enough details to express horror at Nazi atrocities, but never becomes overly graphic. The story covers an area I hadn’t heard of before, Britain’s SOE Special Operations Executive. The book brings up a moral dilemma about sacrificing a few to save the many. Discussion questions for book groups are also included. I’m grateful to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book for an honest review.
Ms-Hurst 5 months ago
I love good historical fiction and I love strong women leads. So I started this book looking for stories, long ignored, of women who made a difference during the war. Like all good historical fiction, this one made me stop reading occasionally to research on my own. Unlike great historical fiction, this book was lacking in the real impact made by these women. As an emotional look at the lives of these women, it succeeded. As a story that revealed the true importance and intricacy of the hard work these women did, it was less successful. Something in the balance was a little off for me. It was a good book. It could have been great.
Momof2kids 6 months ago
What a great piece of historical fiction! I loved this. I'm usually not a fan of historical fiction to be honest. It has to be a really good one (The Nightengale etc) I was taken aback by how much I really did like this book. I loved though how it was the women who were taking the huge risks. So many times when wars are talked about, it is the men who are hailed as the Hero's (And rightfully so!) but we all tend to forget the silent hero's, those who laid their lives on the lines to help the Allies. I loved the true sister ship, the bonds and how much strength and courage these women all have . This is a great character story with lots of strong characters who have a hard time finding their strength but manage to no matter what.
Anonymous 7 months ago
What’s a beautiful yet heartbreaking piece of historical fiction. I’ve always been fascinated by the culture around World War II and the ordinary people who found themselves doing extraordinary things during that time, especially women. And, while we’re starting to hear kore about their lives and roles during the war, they’re still very much ignored players in WWII. We hear about the front lines and the soldiers, but not the women working behind the scenes or contributing more than just smiles. For a short time now, I’ve been intrigued by the SOE and their work during the war. Netflix has a fascinating miniseries that drops modern people into SOE training and takes them through everything. I binged it in a single night. It serves as a really great baseline that informed quite a bit of my reading of THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS. These women came from all different backgrounds and walks of life and served in the most risky ways, knowing full well that they had the least chance of returning home out of anyone. Especially given how little training they received. While I think the telling of a story from different characters during different timeframes can be a bit played out nowadays, the author does it masterfully here. All three women are very distinct and have their own voices, but there’s definitely an invisible personality thread that connects them all. They have their fault and flaws, but they’re also strong in ways even they didn’t think possible. I couldn’t imagine the book being told by anyone else or without any of these women. As I mentioned, I’m very much interested in the SOE but don’t know much about them, so I was surprised at where this novel went and then the explanation in the author’s note about the liberties taken. That being said, even if the large reveal is fiction, it’s so informative and telling if the time. And it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a powerful novel of love, loss, and duty. I’d like to think that I would’ve been able to do what these women did, but I have no idea. What I do know is that these women had me rooting for them, angry for them, and crying alongside them as they navigate their tough choices, sexism, dangerous situations, and the inevitable devastation. What a wonderful novel.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Loved this book, of course this genre is my favorite. I find this a fascinating time period to have lived in and am inspired by the brave and courageous women and what they did for their cause. This part of history is so important and gets such little coverage, this book opens your eyes to what the world was like during the war. Fascinating read and thoroughly enjoyable.
bookaholique 8 months ago
4.5 Late to work, Grace is making a mad dash to catch a bus. Due to a fatal car accident, she ends up going into Grand Central Station. There she notices an unattended suitcase. Curiosity gets the better of her and she opens it. Inside are the photos of 12 women. For reasons she can't explain, she takes them. So starts this story of Grace's attempt to discover who these women are. A story that will takes us back in time 2 years. A story about the young women of the British SOE, who volunteered to be snuck into German occupied France to be part of the war resisance. I have read a few other historical fiction movels regarding young British women who volunteered to fight the war. I've often wondered where such bravery came from. To know that you are taking on a task that could end in something horrible - capture, torture and death. These plans where implemented because no one thought women would ever be allowed to participate in battle in any matter. It was hard to read that some missions were deemed "unsuccessful" because they were staffed with women. And yet this story shows the true nature of these women. Their dedication and unwavering belief in the jobs they where given. The author has given us three strong female characters. Women who have to work hard to believe in themselves and their abilities. Womean who will not give up until they have achieved their goals. It does not end well for everyone. But for a story based during World War II, that is not to be unexpected. In all, this is a story about commitment, love, friendship and honor. My thanks to Harlequin Publishing and Netgalley.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Cutiefulpink 9 months ago
If you had asked me before reading The Lost Girls of Paris if I had ever read a book by Pam Jenoff, I would have said, “Absolutely. Of course!” Apparently, I would have been wrong, but only because so many of her books are on my TBR. I was so familiar with her titles that I assumed I had read her books. And I was missing out. World War II historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read. Probably because my brain cannot comprehend that such a time actually existed in human history. I keep reading more accounts and stories in disbelief, waiting for my mind to grasp and accept what it’s reading, but it never happens. In this book, we find some truly heroic women who sacrifice their lives to end Hitler’s terror. The pace was absolutely perfect. The fact that it is based on true events only enhances the terrific story telling. The characters are very well explored, with their emotions consistently expressed for the reader. In this way, while reading the novel, you can almost imagine what they were going through. Since WWII seem so unimaginable to me, the availability to access the emotional toll these events took helped me become invested in a way I’m not usually able. I did have a few problems with this story, which is the only reason I did not give it 5 stars. Firstly, I didn’t understand Grace’s determination to figure out the story behind Eleanor’s pictures. I can completely understand being curious about a set of photos, and maybe even wanting to look at them more closely. But once she determined whose they were, I never connected to her need to continue looking into Eleanor. I, especially, couldn’t understand her need being so great that she would violate protocol and actually steal government documents just to learn about a woman she had never met. I’m glad she did, but I didn’t find it a compelling impetuous for the novel. My only other issue is the love story. I wanted so much more. I appreciated that the author kept the story focused on the women and what they were doing in the war. It would have been disingenuous to have pretended to write about these twelve resistance operatives, only to have told a love story centered around a man. But since there was a love story, I needed that thread explored more. I didn’t understand how these two people could have felt so deeply for each other, so quickly, and, therefore, I didn’t fully connect with the telling of their story. Having said that, I whole-heartedly recommend reading this book, particularly if you like any of the books I listed above as being comparable. I’m planning to make sure all of Pam Jenoff’s writings are on my TBR. * Special thanks to Pam Jenoff, Park Row, and TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of The Lost Girls of Paris in exchange for an honest review.
MaryAnn320 9 months ago
I could not wait to read this book and when I did, I really enjoyed it. The story is very moving and very emotional. The Author does a great job of bringing the characters to life. The chapters trade off interweaving the story in such an interesting way that keeps your attention and leaves you holding your breath until the end. This story shines in terms of reflecting the strength and "backbone" that everyday women are capable of contributing to the missions and strategies of war.
Honolulubelle 9 months ago
Favorite Quotes: Professor Digglesby walked back into the workshop and returned with what appeared to be feces. “We plant detonators in the least likely of places,” he added. The girls squealed with disgust. “Also fake,” he muttered good-naturedly. “Holy sh*!” Josie said. Eleanor produced a necklace with a silver bird charm and held it out. Marie was surprised. But it was not a gift; Eleanor twisted the necklace and it unscrewed to reveal a cyanide capsule. “The final friend,” Eleanor declared. Grace imagined herself at seventeen— she had been concerned with coming-out parties and summers at the beach. She could not have navigated her way across Manhattan at that point. Yet these girls were on their own in France battling the Nazis. Grace was overcome with awe and inadequacy at the same time. My Review: This was my first experience reading the talented Pam Jenoff and I became an instant and ardent fan. She has mad skills. I was quickly immersed in her tale and so fully invested and simpatico with her characters that I found myself flinching when one was injured. I seldom read historical fiction, as I don’t enjoy being reminded of the ignorant and concerted behaviors that oppressed women for centuries, although I will readily consider the genre when strong female trailblazers are featured. I cannot resist a kick-ass heroine! Such was the case with The Lost Girls of Paris, which featured everyday women who were recruited by for a specialized project within a little known agency of the British government during WWII, the SEO. I had never heard of this branch before but it was an actual section during Churchill. After significant failures and heavy losses of male agents, Eleanor, the secretary to the SEO Director, convinced her boss to employ female agents instead, an idea that was not well received by the Neanderthals of the day but was put into place under Eleanor’s exacting eye. The women weren’t spies and were resented and dismissively scoffed upon by MI6 and the British military, although once in place, the female’s contributions were soon heavily relied upon and invaluable, until through no fault of their own, something went amiss. The compelling and well-crafted storylines were fictional although well researched, impeccably detailed, and featured three strong and admirably tenacious women across three timelines but only one of which, Marie, had been an actual operative and Eleanor her feared and revered supervisor/mentor. Marie’s story was the most poignant and perilous, and I often found myself taut with tension with my shoulders in my ears while I read. Grace came into the story shortly after the war when she stumbled upon Eleanor’s abandoned suitcase in New York’s Grand Central station with no awareness of what she had found until much later. Grace seemed to have sticky fingers, as she pocketed not only a set of photos before replacing the bag where she had found it, she also pilfered something else later on in the story. Grace had moxie and her own set of skills beyond typing. It was Grace’s insatiable curiosity that led her to uncover the intriguing tale of Eleanor, the SEO, Marie, and the other women’s poignant tales of heroism and sacrifice, as well as the ultimate betrayal that led to their demise. But who had compromised their mission? The answer was heartbreaking, the premise was ingenious, and the writing was transcendent.
sspea 10 months ago
This book follows the narrative of three women. Eleanor the commander of a covert mission during the war. Marie, one of Eleanor's operatives and Grace, a woman post war who stumbles across some information that leads to questions she wants answers to. Inspired by true events, this was a fascinating book. War time books are generally a hit or miss for me, as they can so easily go sideways. But the writing did this story justice. We know that women were used as underground radio operators in Nazi occupied Europe, and this puts names and stories to these unknown women.