Review by Kirsi_78 -- Sandra Eden's War by Michael Low

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Kirsi_78
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Review by Kirsi_78 -- Sandra Eden's War by Michael Low

Post by Kirsi_78 »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Sandra Eden's War" by Michael Low.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Picture this: a woman falling from the sky like a stone, her useless unopened parachute tailing along. That is exactly what the pilot who delivered her to the landing area had to see. He must have felt hopeless and horrified. He must have been thinking that no one could survive a downfall like that. Since there was not much else the poor pilot could do, he sighed and turned the plane around, flying it back to his military base in England. After all, it was war. In wars, anything can happen.

Sandra Eden’s War by Mike Low is a fictional story of the SOE (Special Operations Executive) agent Sandra Eden, who was sent to France behind the enemy lines shortly before the Normandy landings during the Second World War. The book is a tribute to all real SOE agents who served in multiple tasks behind the enemy lines. The SOE was founded by Winston Churchill in the 1940s, its purpose being to generate sabotage in occupied Europe and aid local resistance movements to fight the invaders. Sandra Eden’s War was inspired by multiple destinies of real SOE agents.

I have read several books whose events took place during the Second World War, but I can’t think of any other with a female agent as a leading character. Traditionally we tend to think that the war is a men’s world, but the truth is that there were many women in multiple tasks risking their lives during the Second World War. I was utterly delighted that the author chose the protagonist to be a woman. He also did not fail to describe how difficult it can be for a woman to be accepted as equal. Sandra Eden continuously had to prove herself being just as capable as any man to some of the Maquis soldiers (French resistance movement), who she was assigned to help.

Sandra Eden’s War was very straight forward, concentrating on describing the action taking place at each time. There were multiple characters involved, but the character development was rather rudimentary. The chosen writing style complied with the story, yet left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied. I would have enjoyed a more profound character development, and could not help but think this type of story might have worked better as a movie.

The Second World War has been an inspiration to many writers and generated multiple stories. Mike Low’s Sandra Eden’s War holds one’s own among other stories and is certainly a good read for anyone interested in this particular field of the history of mankind. Since this book is a relatively easy read and includes no profane language or sexuality, I would imagine it could be a great addition also to high school history lessons. Often stories told well enough can be more effective than study books.

Sandra Eden’s War was edited pleasingly well and there were absolutely no mistakes to be found. Overall, I felt that the story was well-thought, well-structured, and well-written. All this being said, I am still unable to give Sandra Eden’s War more than 3 out of 4 stars. There were some great elements in the story, but somehow the obvious one-dimensionality made me feel like the story never really started to float in the air. Instead, it was falling from the sky like the defected parachute, and the reading experience left me somewhat disappointed. Nevertheless, I truly respect the author’s thorough research and effort to make the story of the relatively unsung SOE agents known.

******
Sandra Eden's War
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Phelicia Gloria
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Post by Phelicia Gloria »

I read this book too, and indeed it was hard for Sandra to be accepted among the male dominant society though she disapproved them by leading successful operations to against the Nazis, this book sounds like a movie to me too. Great review
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Post by Madelinemcdougal »

I recently finished reading this book. I love your analogy of the parachute to explain the one-dimensionality of the story. It describes exactly how I felt after reading the ending. But as you mentioned, this would be a great story to enhance a high school history class.
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Post by NetMassimo »

I'm not into historical fiction, but in this novel, there are some interesting elements in its mix of historical events and fiction. Thank you for your great review!
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Kirsi_78
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

Phelicia Gloria wrote: 08 Jul 2020, 23:51 I read this book too, and indeed it was hard for Sandra to be accepted among the male dominant society though she disapproved them by leading successful operations to against the Nazis, this book sounds like a movie to me too. Great review
Let's hope they'll once make a movie out of it! That would be cool!

Thanks for commenting! 😊
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Kirsi_78
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

Madelinemcdougal wrote: 09 Jul 2020, 00:39 I recently finished reading this book. I love your analogy of the parachute to explain the one-dimensionality of the story. It describes exactly how I felt after reading the ending. But as you mentioned, this would be a great story to enhance a high school history class.
Yes indeed. Learning is often much more fun through stories, I wish my high school teachers had used more books like this in our classes... Thanks for dropping a comment! :)
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Kirsi_78
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

NetMassimo wrote: 09 Jul 2020, 01:49 I'm not into historical fiction, but in this novel, there are some interesting elements in its mix of historical events and fiction. Thank you for your great review!
Thanks for your kind words! :D
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Post by B Creech »

Thank you for this very nice review! I have considered this book several times, but haven't taken the time to read it so I appreciate the thoroughness of your review. I liked the way you made the analogy of the parachute falling from the sky and likened it to the story! Very nice job!
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Post by TADSAILS »

Excellent book and review. I enjoyed everything I read within its pages. Although there was a minor expectation, I expected while reading up to be put by the author. In all, it was such a splendid book.
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

B Creech wrote: 09 Jul 2020, 18:20 Thank you for this very nice review! I have considered this book several times, but haven't taken the time to read it so I appreciate the thoroughness of your review. I liked the way you made the analogy of the parachute falling from the sky and likened it to the story! Very nice job!
Thanks for your nice words! 😊
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Kirsi_78
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

TADSAILS wrote: 10 Jul 2020, 01:30 Excellent book and review. I enjoyed everything I read within its pages. Although there was a minor expectation, I expected while reading up to be put by the author. In all, it was such a splendid book.
I am happy that you liked the book! Good books are always worth our time.
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Post by Leen282 »

I also read this book, and was really looking forward to it since it has great potential. I was also left a bit disappointed due to the lack of depth for the main characters. I did learn about the SOEs and was happy to know that Sandra's character is based on a real person.
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Post by azidy »

I don't have a lot of experience with historical fiction and it takes something unique to capture my attention. A strong female lead is something we don't have enough of in this genre and I'm really glad this book is one of the rare exceptions!

Your review captures the reader's attention from the beginning! I think you've given a prospective reader just enough information to make them interested, without revealing too much or pointing out specific events.

I'm mostly interested in the dynamics of male and female roles during the war and I'm glad your review mentioned her struggles to prove herself surrounded by people with different attitudes and prejudices.

Thank you for a wonderful review! 🙂
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Kirsi_78
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

azidy wrote: 12 Jul 2020, 02:50 I don't have a lot of experience with historical fiction and it takes something unique to capture my attention. A strong female lead is something we don't have enough of in this genre and I'm really glad this book is one of the rare exceptions!

Your review captures the reader's attention from the beginning! I think you've given a prospective reader just enough information to make them interested, without revealing too much or pointing out specific events.

I'm mostly interested in the dynamics of male and female roles during the war and I'm glad your review mentioned her struggles to prove herself surrounded by people with different attitudes and prejudices.

Thank you for a wonderful review! 🙂
Thank you for your feedback and kind words! 😊 Being a successful female in war was definitely not easy. But it is an interesting topic as you mentioned. I am sure there were many women who risked their lives but their stories have remained mostly unknown to us.
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Kirsi_78
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

Leen282 wrote: 12 Jul 2020, 00:21 I also read this book, and was really looking forward to it since it has great potential. I was also left a bit disappointed due to the lack of depth for the main characters. I did learn about the SOEs and was happy to know that Sandra's character is based on a real person.
Learning about the SOEs was definitely one of the best parts of this book! I never knew they existed before reading this...

Thanks for stopping by! 😊
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