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Summary

Woman. Wife. Smuggler. Spy....

A thrilling and heart-wrenching novel inspired by the astonishing real life story of Nancy Wake. Perfect for fans of Suzanne Goldring's My Name Is Eva, Kate Quinn's The Alice Network and Imogen Kealey's Liberation, soon to be a blockbuster movie. 

In 1936, foreign correspondent, Nancy Wake, witnesses first-hand the terror of Hitler's rise in Europe. No sooner has Nancy met, fallen in love with and agreed to marry French industrialist Henri Fiocca, than the Germans invade France and force her to take on her first code name of many. The Gestapo call her the White Mouse for her remarkable ability to evade capture when smuggling Allied soldiers across borders. She becomes Hélène when she leaves France to train in espionage with an elite special forces group in London. Then, when she returns to France, she is the deadly Madame Andrée. But the closer Frances gets to liberation, the more exposed Nancy - and the people she loves - will become.

Inspired by true wartime events, Code Name Hélène is a gripping and moving story of extraordinary courage, unfaltering resolve, remarkable sacrifice - and enduring love.

©2020 Ariel Lawhon (P)2020 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"Lawhon breathes new life into Nancy Wake's extraordinary story. Rich and thoroughly researched, an exciting, well-written account of wartime valour and the protagonist's qualities shine through." (The Times)

"A gripping thriller based on the life of Nancy Wake.... Lawhon's vivid, fast-paced narrative will keep readers turning the pages." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Code Name Hélène

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An Amazing Woman and gripping story

This book started off in a way that is very different to the many ww2 resistance books I've listened to. I wondered why Nancy had an Australian accent. Shame on me and my assumptions. It also seemed quite light. It wasnt. I feel like I have been taken inside the character of Nancy and humour and wit were part of her. She was brave, resilient, daring, resourceful and unashamedly herself.
It is also a story of love and marriage, war and resistance. The characters are so well developed and portrayed by writer and narrators they become so precious and so human. I would like to say more about Henri, a very fine man, but I think I must let you listen yourself.


1 person found this helpful

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Heart Thumping Real Life!

I absolutely LOVE this book!

The narration is beyond excellent.

Such a beautiful inspirational love story through the heart of the most horrific nazi brutality and fighting constantly to overcome.

Did not want this to end!

Ten stars from me.

More please ….. !

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Totally Unput Downable

I’ve read a number of books on this subject but this just blew them all out of the water, particularly because it is based on fact. An awe inspiring story of an amazingly courageous woman which is not only funny, but heartbreakingly sad, terrifying and totally unput downable! The characters are amazing and the narration spot on. I’m so sad it has come to an end. An absolute must read for anyone interested in this subject.

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I became obsessed with this book!

I wasn’t sure if it was going to be any good, but honestly I could not stop listening. I already knew the story of Nancy Wake and this is a dramatisation with some artistic license but that doesn’t detract from it at all.
I laughed and cried (cliche I know!) but enjoyed every minute

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Fantastic- didn’t want it to end

I absolutely loved everything about the book. The story, the way it was written, I literally could listen again straight away. Fantastic.

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Amazing

What a fantastic story, I laughed, cried, felt helpless and concluded with the idea that good will always triumph over evil. I fell in love with Nancy and this was all aided by an extremely talented author who used history and facts with fiction to blend a masterpiece and all with an exceptional voice actor.

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Remarkable

There is no denying this is a remarkable story of a lady worthy of so many superlatives. The story is well researched and fascinating BUT there are jarring language errors. I get very absorbed in this kind of book, so found the use of American English very jarring when these mistakes occurred. As UK born and bred, but with most of my family in Australia, I wanted to believe in Nancy as an Australian in the correct time also. Examples: pumps are flat ballet-style shoes, Nancy would have been dressing up with her "high heels;" "normalcy" is not a word here or Australia (albeit sadly creeping in), we say normal or normality; there is a modern sneaking in of the preposition "of" in certain phrasing where there would be no preposition; and in WW2 people did not speak of "being there" for someone. These may seem like small points, but in the world of under cover work, would have been enough to blow Nancy's cover! She was narrating as an Australian so should have sounded like one. This book should have been edited by an Australian to have picked this up.

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Nancy Wake a heroine for all time

Full of danger, bravery and heart, much of this ‘story’ is true. It is well put together and moves forward with pace. I am very happy to have learned about Nancy Wake. Anyone, even slightly interested about WW2, needs to know about her and her amazing role in occupied France. A great example of the massive input of many women in the war effort and how real femininity need not be incompatible with great warriorship.

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Wow!!!

Don't hesitate... read/listen to it now! Such an incredible story. And to find out that it's all based on a real woman and true events. Amazing!

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Astonishing

A brilliantly written novel based on the astonishing life of Nancy Wake. Absolutely fascinating, a great piece of writing and narrated very well.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-22

This book will stay with me for a long time.

This book is the best historical fiction I have ever read, as simple as that!