One of our recommended books is Churchill's Secret Messenger by Alan Hlad

CHURCHILL’S SECRET MESSENGER


Recruited from Churchill’s typing pool to become an undercover spy in German-occupied France, a young woman from London bravely endures daring missions, audacious escapes, and a harrowing imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp, risking everything for the country – and the man – she loves.

London, 1941: In a cramped bunker in Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, civilian women huddle at desks, typing up confidential documents and reports. Since her parents were killed in a bombing raid, Rose Teasdale has spent more hours than usual in Room 60. Winning the war is the only thing that matters to her now,

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Recruited from Churchill’s typing pool to become an undercover spy in German-occupied France, a young woman from London bravely endures daring missions, audacious escapes, and a harrowing imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp, risking everything for the country – and the man – she loves.

London, 1941: In a cramped bunker in Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, civilian women huddle at desks, typing up confidential documents and reports. Since her parents were killed in a bombing raid, Rose Teasdale has spent more hours than usual in Room 60. Winning the war is the only thing that matters to her now, and she is dedicated to doing her part. When Rose’s fluency in French comes to the attention of Churchill himself, it brings a rare yet dangerous opportunity…

Rose is recruited for the Special Operations Executive, a secret British organization that conducts espionage in Nazi-occupied Europe. After weeks of grueling training, Rose parachutes into France with a new codename: Dragonfly. Posing as a cosmetics saleswoman in Paris, she ferries messages to and from the Resistance, knowing that the slightest misstep means capture or death.

Soon Rose is assigned to a mission with Lazare Aron, a Jewish French Resistance fighter who has dedicated himself to the cause with the same fervor as Rose. Yet Rose’s very loyalty brings risks as she undertakes a high-stakes prison raid, and discovers how much she may have to sacrifice to justify Churchill’s faith in her…

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  • John Scognamiglio Books
  • Paperback
  • April 2021
  • 304 Pages
  • 9781496728418

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$15.95

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About Alan Hlad

Alan Hlad is the internationally bestselling author of The Long Flight Home and Churchill’s Secret Messenger. He is also president of an executive search firm, a frequent conference speaker, and a member of the Historical Novel Society, Literary Cleveland, and the Akron Writers’ Group.  He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.

Author Website

Discussion Questions

1. The Special Operations Executive (SOE), also known as “Churchill’s Secret Army,” was a real organization during WWII. Of its 470 agents in German-occupied France, 39 were women, many of whom were captured, tortured, and killed. What do you think Churchill saw in Rose that influenced him to have her recruited for the SOE? What do you think motivated Rose to join the SOE?

2. A number of historical figures make appearances in Churchill’s Secret Messenger, including Winston Churchill and General Charles de Gaulle. Did you recognize any other characters as people who existed in real life?

3. Why do you think Rose and Muriel bonded so quickly as friends? Why is Rose determined to survive Ravensbrück Concentration Camp and deliver a message to Muriel’s daughter, Mabel?

4. What makes Felix a competent SOE network organizer? What are his weaknesses as a leader?

5. While working in German-occupied France, Rose and Lazare fall in love. What brings them together? At what point do you think Rose realizes she loves Lazare? How is the war, particularly the risk of being captured by the SD, a catalyst for their affection?

6. Prior to reading the book, what did you know about the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup? What could Lazare have done to save his parents?

7. Operation Jericho was a real-life RAF bombing raid on Amiens Prison, one day before over 100 French Resistance prisoners were scheduled to be executed. The name of the person who requested this actual mission remains a secret—even to this day. How likely do you think it was that a female SOE agent such as Rose was the true mastermind behind Operation Jericho? If you were Rose, would you have arranged the bombing raid, knowing that it might kill the person you love? What are the consequences of Operation Jericho?

8. How do you envision what happens after the end of the book? Do you think Rose will remain bound to her oath of secrecy? What do you think her life will be like?