The wonderful new novel from the Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of THE GLASS ROOM.
Marian Sutro is an outsider: the daughter of a diplomat, brought up on the shores of Lake Geneva and in England, half French, half British, naive yet too clever for her own good. But when she is recruited from her desk job by SOE to go undercover in wartime France, it seems her hybrid status - and fluent French - will be of service to a greater, more dangerous cause.
Trained in sabotage, dead-drops, how to perform under interrogation and how to kill, Marian parachutes into south-west France, her official mission to act as a Resistance courier. But her real destination is Paris, where she must seek out family friend Clement Pelletier, once the focus of her adolescent desires. A nuclear physicist engaged in the race for a new and terrifying weapon, he is of urgent significance to her superiors. As she struggles through the strange, lethal landscape of the Occupation towards this reunion, what completes her training is the understanding that war changes everything, and neither love nor fatherland may be trusted.
THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is both a gripping adventure story and a moving meditation on patriotism, betrayal and the limits of love.
Masterly . . . A tour de force that grips and never lets go - Mail on Sunday - Max Davidson
I read late into the night and cried a little when I was done. Mawer's set pieces are so beautiful you want to read them two or three times over. He writes about fear and about bravery better than any contemporary novelist I know - Observer - Rachel Cooke
Such rewarding reading . . . Mawer is a genuinely great contemporary writer - Financial Times - Simon Schama
If you only read one book this year, read this one - Scotsman - Allan Massie
Simon Mawer was born in 1948 in England, and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus and in Malta. He then moved to Italy, where he and his family lived for more than thirty years, and taught at the British International School in Rome. He and his wife currently live in Hastings. Simon Mawer is the author of several novels including the Man Booker shortlisted The Glass Room, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and Tightrope.