As the memorials and celebrations gear up for the anniversary of D-Day on June 6th, and we rightly remember the sacrifice of so many thousands of British and Allied troops, it’s worth remembering that many hundreds of women also worked on this combined forces operation, known as ‘Operation Overlord’. Women from all three services were selected to support the year-long preparations in London. They then moved to Fort Southwick - the extraordinary underground operational HQ in the hills overlooking Portsmouth - and some of them followed the troops over to Northern France, where they lived and worked in bombed-out buildings, before finally moving to Paris in August 1944 after its liberation from the Nazis. The bravery and stoicism of these women are remembered and celebrated in my novel: The Secret Letter, which explores the experiences of two young women on either side of the Second World War divide. In England, schoolgirl Imogen is evacuated to the Lake District, writing letters home to her parents, while in Germany, teenager Magda bravely joins the fight against the authoritarian Nazi regime. As the war progresses and the girls grow into womanhood, their lives intertwine through the bravery of a young RAF officer.
Here is what one early reviewer said about the book:
‘Absolutely beautifully written… Magda and Imogen absolutely jumped off the page… I admired their bravery and their willingness to stand up for what they believed in, even if it meant they were endangering their own lives… I loved how she weaved their stories together… A beautiful story about a terrible time in our world's history. But it is stories like those of Magda and Imogen that give me hope, that people are good and willing to stand up for what is right.’ Goodreads reviewer
The Secret Letter is published on July 22nd, but is available now for pre-order on Amazon: https://t.co/hP8X5po6Tu