Book review: A Woman of No Importance

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16 April 2019
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If you’re not a fan of overblown social justice warrior narratives you might want to look away now.

Author: SONIA PURNELL

Reviewed by: Duncan Evans 

 

Buy your copy here.

 

If you’re not a fan of overblown social justice warrior narratives you might want to look away now. Sonia Purnell’s recounting of the life and adventures of American Virginia Hall is tinged with so much hero worship it’s hard to take seriously and it drones on about women’s role, disability and what a plucky heroine she was, as though the other female SOE agents never existed or suffered (see The Armourer, January issue).

 

That said, this girl’s own adventure rattles along, is full of detail and makes clear the danger that Virginia perpetually faced. However, again, there’s far too much interpretation where the author has turned fact into entertaining fiction. What people are feeling and thinking is constantly posited, without any real factual basis for it. The entire book is written like a spy thriller, and while this serves to make it an entertaining read, it’s at the expense of believability.

 

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Buy your copy here.

• Osprey Publishing

• 260 pages • Hardback • £30

 

As reviewed in The Armourer May 2019

 

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