Author: Martha Hall Kelly
Published by: Doubleday Canada on Apr. 18, 2023
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Penguin Random House
Book Rating: 9/10
Two former female spies, bound together by their past, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II—an extraordinary novel inspired by true events from the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls
American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue are thrilled to be working in the French resistance, stealing so many Nazi secrets that they become known as the Golden Doves, renowned across France and hunted by the Gestapo. Their courage will cost them everything. When they are finally arrested and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with their loved ones, a reclusive Nazi doctor does unspeakable things to Josie’s mother, a celebrated Jewish singer who joined her daughter in Paris when the world seemed bright. And Arlette’s son is stolen from her, never to be seen again.
A decade later the Doves fall headlong into a dangerous dual mission: Josie is working for U.S. Army intelligence and accepts an assignment to hunt down the infamous doctor, while a mysterious man tells Arlette he may have found her son. The Golden Doves embark on a quest across Europe and ultimately to French Guiana, discovering a web of terrible secrets, and must put themselves in grave danger to finally secure justice and protect the ones they love.
Martha Hall Kelly has garnered acclaim for her stunning combination of empathy and research into the stories of women throughout history and for exploring the terrors of Ravensbrück. With The Golden Doves, she has crafted an unforgettable story about the fates of Nazi fugitives in the wake of World War II—and the unsung females spies who risked it all to bring them to justice.
Compelling, intense, and atmospheric!
The Golden Doves is a charged, intriguing tale that takes you into the lives of Josie Anderson, an American Intelligence Officer, and Arlette LaRue, a French waitress, both former spies and Ravensbrück prisoners whose lives intersect and collide once again seven years post-WWII when the hunt for the illusive, evil Dr. Snow and the search for a missing, but cherished child find them both in the tropics of French Guiana hoping to heal their hearts, unravel the secrets from the past, and finally find some justice for it all.
The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are layered, dependable, and resourceful. And the plot is a captivating mix of life, love, loss, secrets, passion, heartbreak, betrayal, tragedy, survival, danger, friendship, espionage, and war.
Overall, The Golden Doves is an absorbing, heart-tugging, beautifully written tale by Kelly inspired by real-life events, Operation Paperclip, that does an exceptional job of reminding us of the enduring devastating consequences of war while highlighting her impressive research into an intelligence program that brought Nazis chemists, physicists and other specialists to America after WWII, allowing them to escape justice for their previous horrific crimes, in order to use their knowledge to benefit US government agencies while also subsequently preventing that knowledge from falling into Soviet hands.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.