Sonia Purnell is the highly acclaimed biographer, journalist and public speaker who wrote the New York Times bestselling book 'A Woman of No Importance' about the heroic American one-legged spy Virginia Hall was released in 2020. The tale of extraordinary derring-do has been acclaimed as 'one of the most breathtaking stories yet told of female courage behind enemy lines'.
If you did not get a chance to read the book, I bring it to your attention now. It is well worth reading. Her book is one of USA Today's Five Must Reads and has been hailed as 'gripping' by NPR and 'a very smooth read about a rocky life' and as 'brilliant' by the Irish Times while The Economist said: 'As tales of wartime derring-do go, it would be hard to beat'. 'It's a joy to read,' said Booklist, ' and will swell readers' hearts with pride.' Sonia's book has also been hailed as one of the best Books of the Year in The Times of London. Details of forthcoming lectures in the US will appear shortly on her website www.soniapurnell.com
A descript . . .In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her."
The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare." She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and--despite her prosthetic leg--helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.
Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.