Powerful, gripping story. More poignant and intense than Boris Pasternak's "Dr Zhivago". However, instead of fiction, this is a true story. Instead of WW I era, this is WW II. Instead of Russia, this is Slovakia at the crossroads of two continents and the shifting boundary between cultures through the ages. Instead of a man's point of view, this is a woman's point of view. The unique, eye-opening and often startling results, are a penetrating and candid analysis of personal experience, relationships and events swirling around a little known, but dramatic part of WW II.
The large group of OSS operatives that went into Slovakia in 1944, was doomed by forces outside their control. Their long struggle through winter weather in the mountains, to evade capture and return to allied lines, illustrates the amazing human will to survive. Along the way, they are confronted by the end of their food, energy, health, group cohesion, and personal identity.
14 of the 19 members of the group were eventually caught, interrogated and executed by the Nazi's, under personal orders of Himmler. The remaining 5 survived. But their persistence, pluck and luck, defies the imagination. Alternately exhilarating and devastating, as only a woman can make you feel.
The author's husband was a childhood friend of one of the 5 survivors. Their family visit in 1964 led to developments ending in this book.
I have over 2 dozen books about the OSS in WW II. The writing in this one, is one of the easiest to comprehend, despite the depth and breadth of subject matter.
The subject matter is superior, and the writing is excellent in general. However there are some typos in the book. I noticed at least a couple dozen. This resulted in discrepancies of rank in 2 or 3 officers at times, and in the year (1945 instead of 1946) in one place. The reader can usually figure these out without much trouble. As an author myself, I recognize the effects of limitations in word processing software, and aging eyes.