Young, Brave and Beautiful

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SOE agent Violette Szabo was the daughter of an English father and French mother, and widow of a French army officer killed in action in North Africa in 1942. On her second mission she was captured by the Germans, interrogated and tortured, and deported to Germany, where she was eventually executed at Ravensbruck concentration camp. The bare bones of her story say nothing of the sabotage, gun battles, betrayal. Violette was the second woman ever to be awarded the George Cross, and she was immortalized in the film Carve her Name with Pride. What marks out this book is the simple, extraordinary fact is that is written by her daughter, Tania: she would have been two years old when she last saw her mother, the woman fellow agent Odette Churchill called "the bravest of us all."

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