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Mother, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal: A Book Review


Mother, Daughter, Traitor, Spy

Author: Susan Elia MacNeal

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Bantam

Release Date: 2022

Pages: 321

Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: A mother and daughter find the courage to go undercover after stumbling upon a Nazi cell in Los Angeles during the early days of World War II—a tantalizing novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Maggie Hope series.

     June 1940. France has fallen to the Nazis, and Britain may be next—but to many Americans, the war is something happening “over there.” Veronica Grace has just graduated from college; she and her mother, Violet, are looking for a fresh start in sunny Los Angeles. After a blunder cost her a prestigious career opportunity in New York, Veronica is relieved to take a typing job in L.A.—only to realize that she’s working for one of the area’s most vicious propagandists.

     Overnight, Veronica is exposed to the dark underbelly of her new home, where German Nazis are recruiting Americans for their devastating campaign. After the FBI dismisses the Graces’ concerns, Veronica and Violet decide to call on an old friend, who introduces them to L.A.’s anti-Nazi spymaster.

     At once, the women go undercover to gather enough information about the California Reich to take to the authorities. But as the news of Pearl Harbor ripples through the United States, and President Roosevelt declares war, the Grace women realize that the plots they’re investigating are far more sinister than they feared—and even a single misstep could cost them everything.

     Inspired by the real mother-daughter spy duo who foiled Nazi plots in Los Angeles during WWII, Mother Daughter Traitor Spy is a powerful portrait of family, duty, and deception that raises timeless questions about America—and what it means to have courage in the face of terror.

     My Review: Mother, Daughter, Traitor, Spy tells the story of a mother and daughter who spy on Nazis in Los Angeles during WWII. After losing an incredible job opportunity, Veronica and her mother, Violet, move to Los Angeles to start anew. Shortly after their arrival, Veronica is hired by a German propagandist. When they voice their concerns to the FBI, they dismiss their claims. A family friend leads them to the local spymaster. Both Veronica and Violet agree to be spies on the Nazis. They eventually realize that their mission could be very dangerous. Could Veronica and Violet succeed in their mission without losing everything, including their own life?

     I found Violet and Veronica to be very interesting characters. I learned in the author’s note that they were based on real historical figures which made them even more intriguing. Veronica is a little immature. She makes many foolish mistakes. However, she has a strong sense of justice. She eventually matures and becomes wiser. I also thought that Violet was a more interesting character. She was more logical and prude. I found her culture shock from moving to Los Angeles to New York to be very funny. I loved the mother-daughter relationship. They had a deep love for each other and their country. Therefore, they were admirable characters. I found them to be strong and courageous protagonists.

     Overall, this novel is about family, patriotism, and prejudice. I found all the characters to be very likable and realistic. Besides Veronica and Violet, my favorite character was Jonah whom I thought was very funny. The only thing I did not like about the book was that it had a slow beginning. Nevertheless, it was a very captivating read, and I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of sunny Los Angeles! I also liked how it focused on a subject that I knew nothing about! Therefore, I was so intrigued by the subject material that I read it in one sitting! I recommend this novel for fans of The Call of the Wrens, That Summer in Berlin, and Invisible Woman!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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