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Crown Publishing Group, Summer 2019

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D-Day Girls
The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II
By (author): Sarah Rose
9780451495082 Hardcover English General Trade HISTORY / Military / World War II Apr 23, 2019
$37.00 CAD
Active 6.42 x 9.51 x 1.39 in 400 pages MAPS Crown
The dramatic, untold story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain’s elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory

In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was fighting. Believing that Britain was locked in an existential battle, Winston Churchill created a secret agency, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharpshoot­ing. Their job, he declared, was to “set Europe ablaze.” But with most men on the front lines, the SOE was forced to do something unprecedented: recruit women. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France.

In D-Day Girls, Sarah Rose draws on recently de­classified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women. There’s Andrée Borrel, a scrappy and streetwise Parisian who blew up power lines with the Gestapo hot on her heels; Odette Sansom, an unhappily married suburban mother who saw the SOE as her ticket out of domestic life and into a meaningful adventure; and Lise de Baissac, a fiercely independent member of French colonial high society and the SOE’s unflap­pable “queen.” Together, they destroyed train lines, ambushed Nazis, plotted prison breaks, and gathered crucial intelligence—laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war.

Rigorously researched and written with razor-sharp wit, D-Day Girls is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance: a reminder of what courage—and the energy of politically animated women—can accomplish when the stakes seem incalculably high.

MAJOR ANNIVERSARY: June 2019 is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and Rose’s book is the first to tell the story of the invasion through the eyes of the women who helped make it a success.

UNSUNG HEROES: The success of books such as Hidden Figures and Code Girls suggests that readers are hungry for stories that restore the contributions of forgotten women. D-Day Girls captures the heroism and the humanity of this cohort of spies, demonstrating the crucial role they played in turning the tide of the war.

A STORY OF FIRSTS: This is the first book to bring these women spies to life for general readers and one of the first accounts by a woman. As for the spies themselves, they were the first women deployed in close combat, the first women paratroopers to infiltrate enemy lines, the first women in active-duty special forces, the first female commando raiders, and the first women signals officers in a war zone.

TALENTED YOUNG WRITER: Rose has a knack for balancing page-turning narrative and playful wit. Her first book was praised as “fresh and vivid” (Washington Post) and “a wonderful combination of scholarship and storytelling” (NPR).

POLITICALLY RELEVANT: With the rise of global authoritarianism, many are looking to the past for wisdom. In the United States, #Resist has become the women-led rallying cry for those who oppose Trump’s regressive administration. D-Day Girls is the perfect story for the present-day resistance—where battlefronts have changed but women’s activism remains a constant.

Sarah Rose is the author of For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History. She has written for the Wall Street Journal, Outside, The Saturday Evening Post, and Men’s Journal. In 2014, she received the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing.

Author Residence: New York City

Author Hometown: Chicago

Marketing: Digital advertising campaign

Social media promotion on the author’s Twitter (@TheSarahRose)

Targeted buzz mailings to the author’s VIPs

Outreach to key organizations related to the book

Book club promotions

Enrollment in early reviewer programs

Features on ReadItForward.com and Signature-Reads.com

Library and academic marketing



Author Website: www.SarahRose.com

Author Social Media: @TheSarahRose

“Inspiring and empowering—there were countless moments that gave me full-body chills. I have never read a book like this. Even if you think you don’t like nonfiction, pick up this book.”—Sarah J. Maas on NBC’s Today

“Comprehensive and compelling…Readers get to know these amazing women as individuals as their duties unfold against the backdrop of the war…. Rose smoothly integrates developing events with biographical details and glimpses into French wartime society, creating a digestible and easy-to-follow story. This satisfying mix of social history and biography…should engage a wide audience.”Booklist (starred review)

D-Day Girls, written with novelistic detail, weaves together five women’s narratives using historical research from contemporary periodicals, archives, and interview records…. [D-Day Girls is part of] a new library and a more robust approach to analyzing women’s essential role in war.”Foreign Policy

D-Day Girls brims with detail, akin to the nonfiction narratives of Erik Larson and Laura Hillenbrand.”Women’s Wear Daily

“The mission is this: Read D-Day Girls today. Not just for the spy flair—code names, aliases, and operating covers—but also because this history feels more relevant than ever, as an army of women and girls again find themselves in a fight for the common good.”—Lily Koppel, author of The Astronaut Wives Club

“Sarah Rose’s D-Day Girls is not only a page-turning spy story that reads like fiction, it’s a highly relevant account that will, at long last, inscribe the names of three remarkable female spies—Andrée Borrel, Odette Sansom, Lise de Baissac—into our history books.”—Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire

“With skill and heart, Sarah Rose captures the adventures of an extraordinary group of women who kept the resistance alive during the darkest days of World War II, risking everything to liberate their loved ones, their nations, and democracy itself. Spies and saboteurs, high explosives, ingenious deceptions, dirty poems transformed into cryptologic keysI couldn’t stop reading.”—Jason Fagone, author of The Woman Who Smashed Codes

 “Sarah Rose’s edge-of-the-seat spy thriller weaves the incredible stories of World War II’s forgotten heroines—daring, modern, and key to defeating the Nazis in France. Brilliantly researched and gorgeously written—with a cameo from Winston Churchill—this is the D-Day book the world has been waiting for.”—Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

“Sarah Rose has worked wonders to provide a fresh, thrilling account of the female spies whose courage and audacity helped win the day on June 6, 1944.”—Alex Kershaw, author of The Bedford Boys and Avenue of Spies

“Rose delivers a swift moving…expert blow-by-blow account…. A readable spy thriller that fights against the idea of ‘the original sin of women at war.’”Kirkus Reviews

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