Monday, September 22, 2014

Temperance's Trial by Hallee Bridgeman, the Story of a Wireless Operator in Occupied France

Temperance's TrialI came across this series quite by accident while browsing Amazon one day. I preordered the first of them. ***I thought each book would be about a different woman, but a commenter on Amazon has informed me that this is all one big serialized novel. Had I known that, I would not have purchased this. I'm not into being left hanging for an indeterminate amount of time. Anyway, this explains my disappointment that I mention below.***

This one, about a wireless operator behind enemy lines, is based on Eileen Mary "Didi" Nearne, who like the heroine of this book, served in Occupied France. Also like the heroine, she and her brother (and a sister, not in the book) escaped France immediately upon German occupation and made their way to England where they all entered service with the SOE.

The real Eileen, according to the author notes, was one of only 39 women to parachute into Occupied France and she transmitted 105 messages during her operation.

I wondered while reading this story why the heroine does something so stupid--takes the wireless back to her room instead of doing her transmitting from the tomb and leaving the device with the code book--and it turns out the real Eileen actually did this and was arrested too

The author def stayed very true to original events. We follow Temperance as she escapes France, head back in the dark of night on a plane (flown by a woman pilot!), her wireless rig in tow, and pretends to be a seamstress while secretly sending data back to England and thus, aiding the Resistance. Meanwhile, an SS agent attempts to court her...and things just end up going so wrong.

The real Eileen, from Wiki
And here is where I get upset....the story--and I knew this was a novella--ends at 75% with us having no idea what becomes of Temperance. I expected (since I can't acquire book two yet and have no idea when I can) that each woman's story would end before the next woman's story began, that they would satisfactorily concluded, but that wasn't the case.

I'm just going to tell myself that like the real Eileen, Temperance goes camp to camp, escapes, is picked up by the Americans, and later released.

I appreciate learning about this woman, especially appreciate the author notes, but I do not appreciate being left hanging. I also feel it was a tad too short, the story is only 3/4 of the book. Yes, this must make way for the author notes, but having spent almost three on kindle for it, I was expecting more.

I bought this on Amazon.

A side note to the author/editor/publisher: There is an entire repeated scene beginning with the odd words, THE twin at skirt and shifted her suitcase... and then going a few pages until the repeated scene ends.

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