About the book:
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Last Letter Home, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, comes a thrilling novel about a woman with an extraordinary life, based on a true story.
Minnie Gray is an ordinary young woman. She is also a spy for the British government.
It all began in the summer of 1928…
Minnie is supposed to find a nice man, get married and have children. The problem is it doesn’t appeal to her at all. She is working as a secretary, but longs to make a difference. Then, one day, she gets her chance. She is recruited by the British government as a spy. Under strict instructions not to tell anyone, not even her family, she moves to London and begins her mission – to infiltrate the Communist movement.
She soon gains the trust of important leaders. But as she grows more and more entangled in the workings of the movement, her job becomes increasingly dangerous. Leading a double life is starting to take its toll on her relationships and, feeling more isolated than ever, she starts to wonder how this is all going to end. The Russians are notorious for ruthlessly disposing of people given the slightest suspicion. What if they find out? Full of suspense, courage and love,
A Beautiful Spy is a stunningly written story about resisting the norm and following your dreams, even if they come with sacrifices.
I often find myself drawn to spy stories and in particular stories which are loosely based on true stories. A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore, is set in the pre-World War II years, when there were concerns not only about the rise of the Nationalists in Germany, but also with the rise of the Communist Party in Russia, but also in Great Britain.
I loved how intrepid Minnie was, inspired by the excitement and intrigue of assisting the government in a time of great political change, but I also enjoyed how it was a glimpse into the darker aspects of living a double life. Our understanding of spies is usually all about the glamour and excitement, but as we see with Minnie, the darker side of spying was that Minnie felt constant fear of being found out, and dealt with by the Communists. It was normal for women to follow the usual route of marriage and babies, but Minnie was not like the other women, and wanted something more for herself. The strain living a double life caused on Minnie’s private life, and the loneliness she experienced certainly made it seem like there was a very high price to pay for all the excitement. There were moments when my heart broke for Minnie because of how alone she was made to feel, with little to no guidance or support, particularly when she was abroad. There were moments where Minnie was conflicted between her duty to her government, and the friendships she inevitably gained during her infiltration of the Communist Party.
This was such a dramatic story, even more so because it was based on a true story. It was a story of spies, intrigue, and finding the balance between real life, and a life created in order to spy on those under suspicion.
Many thanks to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours, Simon & Schuster and Rachel Hore for the invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour below.
About the author:
Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time writer. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her last novel, The Love Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller.
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