The White Mouse
“I swore I would never write about World War II”
Ariel Lawhon is a bestselling author who is known for her historical novels featuring women whom history has obscured or overlooked: the women of the household of a missing New York City judge, the stewardess and flight crew of the doomed Hindenburg, the story of the disturbed young woman who claimed to be Russian royalty. But World War II was an era she always avoided: “I thought all the amazing stories had already been told,” Lawhon says to Wiley Cash in her appearance on the Reader Meet Writer Author Series.
Of course, anyone who reads history knows there are always more stories to be told. One day Lawhon was sitting in a hotel on book tour, when she received an email from the mother of a dear friend that basically demanded she write a book about Nancy Wake, an Australian war hero. “If you don’t,” the email said, “we can no longer be friends.”
That email started Lawhon on the trail of Nancy Wake, aka “The White Mouse” — journalist, nurse, spy, resistance fighter, and the most decorated woman in WWII and the only one to actually lead troops in combat. “She killed a soldier with her bare hands,” Lawhon says, “how do you go from being a nurse to someone who can do that?”
What booksellers have to say about Code Name Hélène:
“This is a powerful and well-written story about a brave and gutsy woman who was totally amazing. I loved this fabulous historical fiction novel about spy Nancy Wake.” — Mary Patterson from The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, VA
“They say truth is stranger than fiction. In this novel about Nancy Wake, a socialite who became a leader of the French Resistance, it’s also more thrilling. A propulsive, action-packed rendering that captures the courage, intelligence, and heart of a hero who should be a household name. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” –Erin Cox from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN
More bookseller reviews at SBR:
Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory
In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Reviews of The Souvenir Museum by Elizabeth McCracken, Parachutes by Kelly Yand, The Well-Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith, Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, Avery Fischer Udagawa (Trans.), Miho Satake (Illus.), The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura, Allison Markin Powell (trans.), and Red Island House by Andrea Lee.