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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliving the clandestine life
This is a wonderful book, fully deserving both of the prize it won in 1947 and of this reissue. Writing with an elegant, light touch, Anne-Marie Walters gives one of the first and most candid accounts of the clandestine life of an SOE agent in occupied France during the Second World War. A mere twenty when she was parachuted into the South West to join the WHEELWRIGHT...
Published on 29 Oct 2009 by Simon Mawer

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit on the dull side
The writing isn't that great, which can be forgiven, but her story is just a bit on the dull side, especially if you've already read Russell Braddon's book on Nancy Wake, who was another agent dropped in southern France to help out the resistance, but who was far more involved in the action rather than just passing around notes.
Published 19 months ago by Henrik Østerlund Gram


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliving the clandestine life, 29 Oct 2009
By 
Simon Mawer (Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book, fully deserving both of the prize it won in 1947 and of this reissue. Writing with an elegant, light touch, Anne-Marie Walters gives one of the first and most candid accounts of the clandestine life of an SOE agent in occupied France during the Second World War. A mere twenty when she was parachuted into the South West to join the WHEELWRIGHT circuit, she was only twenty-three when the book was first published in 1946, yet throughout her narrative she tempers a young woman's élan and brilliance with a mature, objective honesty. The editor of this new edition, David Hewson, demonstrates exactly how accurate the author's account is by giving details of the real people hidden behind the pseudonyms of the original publication, as well as some useful contemporary photographs. In a postscript he outlines Walters' life after the war and also attempts to address the issue of exactly why, in August 1944, she was ordered back to Britain as 'undisciplined' by the head of her circuit, Lt. Col. George Starr. Motives in the whole affair seem very mixed. Politics definitely come into it, along with accusations of sexual misconduct, but now that the principal actors in this little wartime drama are all dead we will probably never know the full truth. What is certain is that the ebullience and courage of Anne-Marie Walters and of her fellow résistants will live on for many years yet in the pages of this marvellous memoir.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most remarkable woman, 30 Jan 2010
By 
E. Woolley (Gascony) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
Some years ago I managed to obtain a second-hand copy of this book which I reckoned to be one of the classics of French resistance literature. It not only gives a graphic and authentic account of what it was like to be working with the resistance but also brilliant portraits of the author and the principal people she worked with. The tension at certain points equals or surpasses that of the best writers of thrillers. Now David Hewson has produced an annotated edition which fills in the gaps which the first edition, of neccesity, left unanswered together with a background of Anne-Marie Walters life. She was a most remarkable woman. I hope that new edition will introduce her to a new generation of readers.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This would make a great film, 22 Oct 2005
This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony
I bought this book as it was written about the area in France I now live. It's a beautifully written account without any romancing of the subject; the experience of a twenty-year-old woman parachuted into occupied France. It has left left wanting to know more about her and her whole life.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moondrop to Gascony, 21 Mar 2010
By 
J. D. Greenway "Diddy book" (Gers, SW France.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
This book is of particular interest to me & my wife as the story is set in & around the area of South West France where we have lived & worked for the past 14 years. Obviously, knowing the names of towns & hamlets & the location of some of the individual houses mentioned is particularly fascinating for us, but for the reader with no knowledge of this area the fascination should lie in the way the system of espionage & guerilla warfare worked amongst local groups throughout occupied France during WW2.
The book describes & shows very accurately the difficulties which had to be overcome on a daily basis & how, often how tenuous the links were between sub groups & equally how often there were quite fierce rivalries & jealouses that often combined to reek havoc with some of the planned operations. It also gives an insight & understanding of the logistical problems involved & the added complications for the brave people who housed & fed especially agents parachuted in from England. It may not be appreciated by the average reader that the Gers department which is the area of activity described within this book is the second largest department in France & when the authoress, Anne-Marie Walters describes some of her cycle rides in her role as a courrier undertaken on an ancient heavy framed bicycle were over distances of up to 80 + kms which if undertaken from north to south could be on relatively flat terrain, journeys from East to West would entail some gruelling hill work largely on unmetalled roads & imagine this if the weather was foul & there were undoubtdedly time constraints on most of her trips. In short, if military history is your interest this will give a good insight into the workings & operations of a patriot group in wartime France. A no frills honest reporting of actual facts by a lady who lived through it all.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Wartime Adventure, 21 Mar 2010
By 
P. Overton (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
This is one young woman's gripping, personal account of her role as an S.O.E. agent in wartime France. Anne-Marie Walters was a courier with the Resistance in the southwest of the country, where she felt more at home than in England.

Though written shortly after the war's end, it is a wonderfully fresh read; sparkling with humour and humanity in the most extreme of circumstances. Anne-Marie's courage, coolness, and energy burst from every page.

The story has been brought up-to-date by David Hewson's biographical investigations. Individuals, only referred to by code names in the book, have their identities revealed, and we learn the fate of the main characters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moondrop to Gascony, 21 Sep 2010
This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
A marvellous read - especially if you're in love with the area, too. Lots is written about Northern France during this period, but this is different. Think 'Charlotte Gray'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Second World War on the ground in rural France, 13 April 2010
By 
A. E. Jones "Alison J." (Rushlake Green, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
The testimony of this SOE operative, written very soon after the events, is balanced and informed by David Hewson's research and notes. A fascinating and humbling read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sheer pleasure, 9 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
I'm not going to write a synopsis for this book - it has to be read! Based on actual events during WW2 it isn't so much about the fighting as many books of this genre. Instead it details the bravery of British SOE's and the French resistance and their struggle to help bring the war to a quick conclusion. It is beautifully written and full of necessary, but not long winded and boring, descriptions of the area, their problems, and the interaction between the groups of resistors and the British SOE's. An easy book to read making it very difficult to put down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good yard......, 1 April 2013
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
...but this time it has dirt, death, fear, and personal anger and tension all wrapped into an unsentimental report about life on the run, officially in WW2 - would make a great film.....her boss was obviously a devious socio-path who delivered the goods.....a shame that the story ends abruptly - but a worthwhile post script helps.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 14 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Moondrop to Gascony (Paperback)
I am a collector of WW2 history. This is one of the best accounts I have read of life behind the lines.

Just a get a copy and you will see why. To be treasured.
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Moondrop to Gascony
Moondrop to Gascony by Anne Marie Walters (Paperback - 1 Nov 2009)
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