The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Simon Mawer

Marian is your everyday girl living through WWII. Only just 18 years old, she’s doing her bit by working for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) when a secret meeting with a ‘Mr Potter’ from the Inter Services Research Bureau, which could be anything, forces her to make a choice. Keep it simple and continue as always or disappear for a little while into training. I don’t think it gives it away to say she chooses the more exciting route, though she quickly realises it is the more dangerous one as well. With her fluent French and childhood in Geneva she has the perfect background for a spy in the terrible times of the French Occupation.

With a bright and cheeky sense of humour, Marian navigates the training, becoming fitter, learning about explosives, the many different ways to kill a person, parachuting, trying to make friends and navigating the minefield of secrets she must keep in her new role. A meeting with another secret society forces personal secrets out in the open. With her brother keeping secrets she’s not sure if she’s just a ‘piggy in the middle’ or what the future holds.

Marian is feisty but although she starts out naive and very, very young, real life intrudes very quickly and she discovers that she is able to use all her strengths, both those instilled in her by her training and those she discovers herself. In the end she must draw on every ounce of strength she has in order to do both what her duty calls for and what is right.

kate-rockstrom-pic Kate Rockstrom is a Classical Specialist at Readings Carlton. She regularly performs as a flautist as well as writing about music and books, follow her at