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Booked for the Day

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell


On Monday, February 3rd, the Booked for the Day Book Group met to discuss, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell.  Here are some of the comments readers made during our discussion.

  • Everyone in the group really enjoyed this book. Even though the book was very detailed and it was hard to keep everything straight; names, code names, and towns, we were all glad that we read this book.
  • We were amazed at how incredibly brave this woman was, how she was able to disguise herself, her trek across the Pyrenees to Spain and her ability to build trust among the people of France was truly remarkable.
  • We thought this book was thrilling as a spy novel and the escape she planned from the Vichy-run internment camp at Mauzac could easily be made into a fascinating movie.
  • It was a comfort to the group to know that at the end Robert Alesch, the priest and double agent was caught.
  • We were glad Virginia found happiness in her personal life with Paul but were surprised that Virginia, as courageous as she was, was still concerned with what her mother thought.
  • We thought that the book was thoroughly researched and one member mentioned she enjoyed the extensive foot notes.
  • We thought the fact that a leader of Virginia’s stature remains so little known was incredible, but it was mentioned by several members that perhaps that is how Virginia would have wanted it.
  • We were glad that it was acknowledged that Virginia was discriminated against in the agencies that she worked for and that de Gaulle sought to downplay the importance of Allied Forces and of women in general.
  • One member thought it was remarkable that she was able to transition from field work to office work.
  • Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to the Sonia Purnell book “A Woman of No Importance” and the actress Daisy Ridley is to play the part of Virginia Hall.

These are just a few things mentioned during the discussion. Please feel free to add any of your thoughts in the comment section.​

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