The Girl Who Fell From The Sky – Simon Mawer

Picking up The Girl Who Fell From the Sky last week – I had one of those ‘library love’ moments. Another reminder of the wonderfulness of libraries – I had been looking out for this novel since it was published in May and there it was – in a similar place to where I found Julia last week. For anybody in London who has access to an Ideas Store library – I can recommend taking a look.

This is the third of Mawer’s books I’ve read since discovering him this year; The Glass Room (loved it), Swimming to Ithaca (liked it quite a bit) and now The Girl Who Fell From the Sky which I loved. That is a simple summary but it is actually easy to do as the stories are all quite different. The are all set against a background of war or conflict but the style of each is unique – and all enjoyable to read.

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky is Marian, also known as Alice or Anne-Marie or Laurent. British and a fluent French speaker, this is the story of her recruitment,training and eventual mission in France as a Special Operations Executive during World War II. It is such a fun story to read with a straightforward narrative style. Marian is a likeable, gutsy character and by keeping control of the scope of the story, the author creates time to spend on the little details making Marian seem all the more authentic. I won’t write too much about her mission, Operation Trapeze, except to say it has all the danger and multi layered intrigue you might expect. This is a mission of such importance that nothing is off limits, including family bonds and personal relationships.

This is the simplest telling of the books I have read so far by Simon Mawer. The Glass Room was arty and haunting and there was a dual narrative in Swimming to Ithaca. Apart from the title which I didn’t especially like (fairly or not, it reminded me of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series), The Girl Who Fell From The Sky was my favourite of the books to read – if things like sleep and work hadn’t got in the way, I would have read it in one sitting.


6 responses to “The Girl Who Fell From The Sky – Simon Mawer

  1. I heard a radio interview with Simon Mawer talking about this book just last week, and now your review makes me want to read it more than ever. I hope it makes its way into my library before long too.

    • Lisa – I hope it makes its way to your library soon too – it’s a really enjoyable read, it doesn’t have the magic of The Glass Room but is just a really good story.

  2. I prefered this one to The Glass Room too. I can see that The Glass Room is technically better, but this one had far more emotion – it is one of my favourite books of the year so far. Glad you enjoyed it too. Now I just need to read a few more from his back catalogue. 🙂

    • Jackie – I agree, The Glass Room has that extra something but this one is the perfect topic for me for an unputdownable read. I’m looking forward to reading more of his back catalogue as well so look forward to your thoughts on that. I’m really excited to have discovered Simon Mawer 0:)

  3. Heard so much about The Glass Room and raves about this book from Jackie and yourself. I’ll put it in my TBR but not sure when I will ever get to it! 😦 Glad you like it.

  4. You are right: it is unputdownable! I passed on sleep and read it in six hours straight:)
    (My review is here:
    The sequel is good too…

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