Avenue of Spies; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I liked this book so much I read the endnotes. And I NEVER read endnotes. It brings you into the lives of the French resistance so that you want to know more – I just didn’t want it to end. So when you are reading it you don’t want the war to end because that will mean the book will end, which is pretty sick when you think about it.
The subtitle gives a fine overview – A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris – good enough.
Avenue of Spies is a page turner, but not a thriller. It’s gritty, and tells the truth in a blunt way, but stopped short of being graphic, which I appreciated. I want to know what happened, but I’d rather not relive it in my mind. It was more like watching a train wreck than being in one.
The Gestapo, the Milice, the SS, the deportations especially of the women and children just as freedom and the end of the war was knocking at the door, the torture, the French citizens that didn’t join the resistance…
The ugliest part of this story, for me, was the end of the war. Both the story of the ship Thielbek, and the lack of guilt of some of the Gestapo and SS officers. Some of the jerks lived to a ripe old age. Although I believe the Bible and in the doctrine of Hell, I’m ordinarily surprised that a loving God would have such a place. Not so much anymore.
I was given this book to review it, otherwise I wouldn’t have read it. I thought I knew about WWII and the French resistance. I didn’t. I’ll now be loaning this book out and recommending it to others. My review is honest, in spite of getting the book for free – I don’t want to end up with the SS in the afterlife.