Monday, April 15, 2019

"Conspiracy of Lies" by Kathryn Gauci

Sarah’s mother Claire, suffers her second heart attack after apparently reading a newspaper clipping about the death of an elderly German man that someone had sent to her from France. Sarah wasn’t familiar with the Frenchman who had sent her mother the notice, nor the man who had passed away. She was certain though, that this was what had triggered her mother’s most recent heart attack.

After recovering and being released from the hospital, Claire decides that she would like to visit France and would like her daughter to accompany her on the trip. Surprisingly, it is not the usual places that most tourists wish to see, but rather she wishes to visit somewhere she hasn’t even spoken of in her daughter’s memory. And once there, Claire begins to tell her daughter the tale of her life during WWII, a story that she has never even mentioned before.

Claire’s tale is one of love and heartbreak. Claire had been in France before the war had truly started, and had spent a number of years working various other jobs before finding herself in a unique position and being recruited to work with the Resistance as an undercover agent against the Germans. It was something Sarah hadn’t been aware of as well as the start of an amazing tale of her mother’s strength and bravery during a time of great hardship and loss.

I enjoyed reading this story. There was enough detail and expressions in the various languages used in the area at that time to bring the readers truly into the story and make them feel almost a part of what was happening. There were a few small typos that I ran into here & there, but not enough to really disrupt the flow of the action.

The story told by Claire to her daughter draws both Sarah and the reader of the book in and makes them want to know what happened and how it will all end. It has the reader both wanting Claire to get the happy ending, while at the same praying for her to succeed in completing the mission she has been assigned. And all the while, it seems to be fairly clear that the two possible outcomes are likely to be completely at odds with one another.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to read this book and will definitely be looking forward to the chance to read other stories by Ms. Gauci. She tells a very entertaining historical fiction tale in this book, and I hope to read more of her books in the future.

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