Such a humble first hand account of an undercover agent in France during WWII

Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special AgentCode Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent by Pearl Witherington Cornioley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is fact-filled, dry and unemotional. Something you tend to see/read often in first hand accounts of wartime and/or combat situations.
I don’t think people really comprehend the level of fear, anxiety and trauma that soldiers and non-military went through and indeed still go through. The only thing that differs is the amount and level due to the type of conflict or country it is taking place in. So with that in mind I can understand how Pearl’s account can appear devoid of emotion or a little dry.
I know it was her own wish to not let the events be depicted in an overly dramatic way. Pearl makes her experiences seem completely normal and ordinary. They are far from that and how could a reader looking back at those events not think they were an extraordinary feat of bravery in such dire times.
I think Pearl attempts to equal the playing field by making everyone and every event seem almost casual because she doesn’t want to elevate her own role in those events. No person is more important than any other. I admire that in her but at the same time think she should and can own her bravery and courage.
As most eyewitness accounts of wartime events this counts as part of history and although it may not be a work of literary prowess it is a work that should be read for posterity.
I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

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