A Cool and Lonely Courage: The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France

A Cool and Lonely Courage The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France The incredible true story of British special agents Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne sisters who risked everything to fight for freedom during the Second World War When elderly recluse Eileen Nearne died

  • Title: A Cool and Lonely Courage: The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France
  • Author: Susan Ottaway
  • ISBN: 9780316326988
  • Page: 167
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The incredible true story of British special agents Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne, sisters who risked everything to fight for freedom during the Second World War.When elderly recluse Eileen Nearne died, few suspected that the quiet little old lady was a decorated WWII war hero Volunteering to serve for British intelligence at age 21, Eileen was posted to Nazi occupied FranThe incredible true story of British special agents Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne, sisters who risked everything to fight for freedom during the Second World War.When elderly recluse Eileen Nearne died, few suspected that the quiet little old lady was a decorated WWII war hero Volunteering to serve for British intelligence at age 21, Eileen was posted to Nazi occupied France to send encoded messages of crucial importance for the Allies, until her capture by the Gestapo.Eileen was not the only agent in her family her sister Jacqueline was a courier for the French resistance While Jacqueline narrowly avoided arrest, Eileen was tortured by the Nazis, then sent to the infamous Ravensbr ck women s concentration camp Astonishingly, this resourceful young woman eventually escaped her captors and found her way to the advancing American army.In this amazing true story of triumph and tragedy, Susan Ottaway unveils the secret lives of two sisters who sacrificed themselves to defend their country.

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      167 Susan Ottaway
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      Posted by:Susan Ottaway
      Published :2019-07-01T16:33:07+00:00

    About “Susan Ottaway

    • Susan Ottaway

      Susan Ottaway was born in Windsor, brought up in Egham and educated at Sir William Perkins s Girls School in nearby Chertsey The daughter of an aircraft engineer, she has had a lifelong enthusiasm for aeroplanes and books She worked for four different airlines over a period of 20 years, mainly in the UK but also in Germany and Australia, and wrote her first book, a biography of Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, before leaving the world of aviation She then worked as a freelance editor and has since written six books.Her books include Violette Szabo The Life That I Have, a biography of SOE agent Violette Szabo for which she personally interviewed Eileen Nearne She has appeared on BBC national television to be interviewed about her work, and she took part in the four part television series for the Discovery History Channel entitled George Cross Heroes.Susan is a guest speaker on battlefield tours and in 2008 she delivered the Annual Dambuster Lecture at the Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, home of the wartime 617 Dambuster Squadron compiled from Andrew Lownie Literary Agency and Harper Collins

    428 thoughts on “A Cool and Lonely Courage: The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France

    • This was a straight fact progression in chronological order of the lives of siblings (2 sisters, 2 brothers)who all served in WWII, in great majority for 3 of them it is in covert actions within occupied France. Most people will shun the straight telling and want more of a fictional characterization. This is not the book for that, but it was well done in relating exactly what, where, how this story of utmost bravery occurred. Unlike so many of their compatriots, these sisters lived through the e [...]


    • I was fortunate enough to be sent a copy of this book via a GoodReads give away.This was an interesting story, and certainly the lives and wartime contributions of these sisters should be remembered and honored. That being said, I definitely had a few problems with how the story was presented. Ms. Ottaway clearly did a great deal of exhaustive research - but that doesn't mean it all has to be included. Not that the book is too long; it's not. But why on earth does the reader need to know the typ [...]


    • My ratings for this book have dropped. Originally, I was going to give it 5 stars. The more I read, though, the more it began to annoy me. The subject matter is quite fascinating since it involves two sisters who were agents of the British Special Operations Executive during World War II. What they did is to be commended. The writing, though, is not stellar. As another reviewer wrote, "it's nothing like Ben MacIntyre's fabulous spy books." Author Susan Ottaway tends to repeat herself with some o [...]


    • A really interesting read about two sisters who served as agents for the British Special Operations Executive during World War II. Both women worked undercover in Nazi-occupied France, one as a wireless operator and one as a courier (not quite "spies", as stated on the cover); one sister was arrested by the Germans and sent to a concentration camp shortly before the camps were liberated. I had never read anything about this branch of intelligence; this was a fascinating story of the brave men an [...]


    • Amazing true story of two women, British citizens raised in France. When WWII was beginning, they wanted to do something to stop Hitler. So they returned to Britain, and became operatives on Britain's behalf aiding the French Resistance. One as a courier, the other as a wireless operator. A tale of courage and unbelievable danger.


    • Didn't love the writing style---it was so straightforward it almost felt like a textbook---but hearing the story of lesser-known WWII heroes and the interesting things they went through was super cool.


    • Interesting history about Didi (Eileen) and her sister Jacqueline who were members of the SOE in England, a resistance group who functioned in France during WW2. Jacqueline was a courier who served for 15 months in France while Didi was a radio operator who was captured by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp. Jacqueline later served as a liaison for the newly formed United Nations, while Didi had a troubling time recouperating from her time in the concentration camp. Didi lead a quiet l [...]


    • A bit hard to read at points because of the nonfiction aspect of the many facts and names and codenames, but other than that, this was an excellent account of two incredibly talented and dedicated sister spies. I couldn't help feeling bad for the younger one who suffered immensely during and after the war, never marrying and having to deal with extreme bouts of mental post traumatic stress. Very telling, though. I didn't realize all of these things had happened right under the noses of the Nazis [...]


    • Do you really know your neighbor? After you read this story you will think not. Story of two sister and the spying work they did in WWII. Info is just the facts writer found and talking to a family member. Gives you insight to how where and what Britain was doing with the French Resistant. Quick read.Would have liked more info but it's been along time since the war; that most who were involved never wanted to talk about.


    • I was on a World War II fiction/non-fiction kick recently and now I think I've finished with this book. It was a good read with plenty of dangerous moments. I would have loved to meet Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne.


    • The facts of this true story of sister spies (one is barely 18) working in occupied France during WWII are compelling. The poor writing detracts substantially from my compulsion.


    • It is not so much the style of writing that earned five stars from me but rather the subjects of the story. Don't be deceived by that sentence into thinking the style of writing is boring, it is not. Rather it is understated as the lives of these two remarkable women were. Born in England, these sisters and their two brothers moved to France with their parents prior to the outbreak of World War II. Except for the oldest child, their brother, Frederick, the three younger children for all practica [...]


    • World War II is one of the most written about parts of human history. Acts of heroism, acts of madness, acts of sacrifice, acts of survival it is all covered in every aspect of the written word, fiction and non-fiction. And yet Susan Ottaway has managed to find something, someone whose story has never really been told. And that is the basis for A Cool and Lonely Cocurage: The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France.The sisters are Jacqueline and Eileen "Didi" Nearne, born to British par [...]


    • A Cool and Lonely Courage follows Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, two young women who worked for the French Resistance and the British SOE during World War II in Occupied France. Jacqueline was a courier and one of the higher-ups in a circuit while her younger sister, Eileen, was a wireless operator. Eileen was later captured by the Gestapo, tortured for information, and sent to various labor camps for the duration of the war. Ottaway meticulously researched her two subjects and this gave me an in [...]


    • It is quite possible that this story of two sisters who risked their lives repeatedly during WWII would have never been told. They were both British citizens but their family moved to France when they were children. Their mother had been French and they would not have succeeded if they had not been bilingual. An old woman who used to be seen walking her dog named Bobby, kept to herself very much. She died in August 2010 in Devon, England. An ordinary funeral was planned for her. But in order to [...]


    • This story picked up more for me after the first third. The two Nearne sisters were really pretty amazing, although women were hardly given the recognition they deserved in their dangerous work in World War II. The title comes from one of the secret operations administrators who perhaps reluctantly described women has having more "cool and lonely courage." Didi's work as a radio operator in France reminded me of a favorite novel "All the Light We Cannot See." One of the great mistakes of those s [...]


    • I'm giving this 4 stars because the of the story that the book told, and I think people should read the book. I wish the story had been told a bit better. There are some parts that have an overwhelming amount of detail: the names and codenames of all sorts of people, airplane types, the fates of people meaningless to the story. If the book was to be about the sisters, there should have been a bit more about their family, and maybe some pictures. There's a photocopy of a transit card, but the onl [...]


    • World War II opened doors for women. Rosie the Riveter and other stories of women on the home front have been embraced by popular culture, but women were also on the front lines. This book is the story of two sisters, Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne, who were in advance of the front lines, as British spies in occupied France where they supported the French resistance. The were armed, in leadership positions, and even captured and tortured. The only difference between them and the male spies, is tha [...]


    • Wow.Stories like these are so amazing. There have to be hundreds, if not thousands, of tales of bravery and courage by people that we have never heard of. War shows us so much of the ugly side that some human beings possess but it also shows us greatness and a depth of resolution that people might not even realize they are capable of harnessing. Truly inspirational.This review is based on a free copy received through GoodReads First Reads.


    • The story of these two brave young sisters’ spies being capable of fighting for their country during a time when most women were not allowed such positions was captivating for me. At times, I could see the places that Eileen would describe and I could imagine how she felt when she was captured by Gestapo. The letters, documents, photos that were included in the book made the sisters stories that much more real. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it as a goodread.


    • A remarkable story of two sisters who worked in the French Resistance through the British. Some details about the drops seemed to be overwhelming. All the names became a distraction. However, their heroism is not to be forgotten. Once again the Natzi brutality towards their prisoners and the people of France is illuminated. I had just recently read The Nightingale, a fictional account of two sisters working in France during the occupation. This was a great non-fiction pairing.


    • The story itself was very interesting. I loved reading about the sister spies and their ordeals. The writing however wasn't very good. It started out like a high school term paper but then towards the end there was a lot of the author's opinions thrown in like side notes. It was a bit disjointed. I gave it a three for the subject matter but I would only give it a 1 or 2 for the writing.


    • Having just bought the book, I have no review yet, but could anyone tell me whether or not copies exist with photographs as well as text? The acknowledgements thank several people for providing photographs of individuals or airplanes, but the only things illustrative are photos of letters or documents found here and there on pages of text.


    • A concise telling of a story about which we rarely think: the lives of those who sacrificed without thought of the consequences to themselves to end an evil that tried to swallow them but was eventually forced to spit them back out because of their refusal to surrender. An important read for anyone who thinks they know everything about the 2nd world war in France.


    • A story well worth reading, chronicling the personal courage and determination of two sisters uniquely qualified to serve as members of British Intelligence-gathering networks paired with the French Resistance in occupied France. How both survived and ultimately thrived in their own ways makes for an enlightening read. Thanks, First Reads!


    • Part of what I loved about this book was how it begins in the ordinary. An older woman that kept to herself contains a secret history of avoiding the conditioning that tells a woman she cannot not do what a man can. Eileen Nearne is brave when many could not be. The book is book an insightful character study and look at strong sisterly bonds.


    • Unfortunately, I read this soon after reading Ben Macintyre's latest, and Ottaway is no Macintyre. Still, it's a compelling story, and the sisters were clearly an inspiration for Code Name Verity.


    • It was hard for me to get through this book. While fascinating people, the overall storytelling aspect left me tired. This is a great informational book, but it is not one of those great non-fiction books that reads like fiction.


    • update 25Sep14 just came in the mail today! can't wait to read it!Just found out I won this in a giveaway!! So excited :D :D I can't wait to see how much of this inspired Code Name Verity, one of my absolute favorites <3


    • For some time I've been intrigued by the women who served in the WWII French Resistance. This story of two sisters definitely belongs in the must-read list if you're interested in learning about these courageous women.


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