Lion Forge: No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant

The Lost Girls of Paris

Returning to the World War II era, Pam Jenoff (The Orphan's Tale) once again takes inspiration from true events to craft an engrossing narrative capable of reaching the hearts and souls of her readers. The Lost Girls of Paris pays homage to the women who covertly contributed to the Allied resistance in France.

In 1946, a year after the war has ended, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase in Grand Central Terminal. Inside the suitcase are a dozen photographs of women who pique Grace's curiosity and send her on a self-imposed mission to discover the owner of the suitcase and the identities of the women. 

Three years earlier, Eleanor Trigg is a secretary with the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) when she suggests using women as operatives because they will blend in better than men. Suddenly she finds herself in charge of a secret division of the SOE, recruiting, training and deploying young women into France as couriers and radio operatives. One of those women is Marie, a single mother struggling to keep her daughter safe in a world that's gone mad.

As Grace's investigation cracks open Eleanor's world, a captivating mystery evolves in the midst of love, war, friendships and heroics. While some elements of Jenoff's story remain vague--why exactly is Grace so driven to find the photo identities in the first place?--the complexities of the characters, the richness of the atmosphere and the swift pacing keep the reader engaged and invested. The Lost Girls of Paris is a beautiful celebration of women and their strength in the darkest of times. --Jen Forbus