Moondrop to Gascony by Anne-Marie Walters is a compelling history written by a young woman who served the cause of freedom as a courier, spy, and resistance fighter in Nazi-occupied France during the last year of World War II. More riveting and meaningful because it is true, Moondrop to Gascony won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize in 1947 as the best work of literature in any genre by an author aged 25 or young in the U.K.
Walters takes the reader on her courageous and critically-important mission as a 20-year old volunteer who survives a plane crash, parachutes behind enemy lines, and then pursues several daring actions to help the French resistance prepare for the Allied invasion. To do this, she is trained in combat and weapons, code-writing and radio, explosives and disguise. And, before she finishes her tasks and escapes back to England, Anne-Marie uses all her training…and her luck.
Moondrop to Gascony describes thrilling, inspiring deeds performed against a despicable enemy but it also shows the inside life of a real life spy – the fear, the tedium, the danger, the heroes, the heels, the cowards, and the strategies. It is a remarkable book, made all the more excellent by Walter’s beautiful and detailed writing.
By the way, Claire joins me in recommending it highly.