Good morning everyone! I’m re-sharing my review of the fantastic A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore today in celebration of the paperback release and as part of the Rachel’s Random Resources tour.
Before I share my review here is a little about the book.
Minnie Gray is an ordinary young woman.
She is also a spy for the British government.
It all began in the summer of 1928…
Minnie is supposed to find a nice man, get married and have children. The problem is it doesn’t appeal to her at all. She is working as a secretary, but longs to make a difference.
Then, one day, she gets her chance. She is recruited by the British government as a spy. Under strict instructions not to tell anyone, not even her family, she moves to London and begins her mission – to infiltrate the Communist movement.
She soon gains the trust of important leaders. But as she grows more and more entangled in the workings of the movement, her job becomes increasingly dangerous. Leading a double life is starting to take its toll on her relationships and, feeling more isolated than ever, she starts to wonder how this is all going to end. The Russians are notorious for ruthlessly disposing of people given the slightest suspicion.
What if they find out?
Full of suspense, courage and love, A Beautiful Spy is a stunningly written story about resisting the norm and following your dreams, even if they come with sacrifices.
I’m a huge fan of Rachel’s so I was very excited to be invited onto the blog tour for this, her latest book. One again this author has written a gripping and intriguing book which was hard to put down.
Firstly I absolutely loved Minnie, who I liked from pretty much the first page. She knows what she wants and doesn’t want to just get married like everyone else. She shows lots of courage and determination throughout the book which was wonderful to read about. It definitely made me warm to her more and I found I wanted to continue reading to find out what happens to her.
The author does a great job in setting the scene in this book and I loved how she describes the time period by adding in lots of historical detail. It was definitely an interesting time with lots of political things happening in the run up to the second world war which I always enjoy learning more about. It was a completely different time for women too with society expecting them to get married and then give up their careers or job to become a housewife. This made Minnie’s story even more interesting as she was completely different from the norm.
I felt this book gives the reader a unusual insight into what it’s like to be a spy as it doesn’t just focus on their mission like normal books but also gives the reader a look into their lives so that we can see how difficult it is to be a spy at times. As we follow Minnie throughout the book we become aware of her emotional turmoil as she struggles balancing her two worlds of spying and normal life. I’ve never properly thought about this before so I found this very interesting.
Overall I really enjoyed this intriguing, gripping read which has a very thrilling plot line. This book is actually based on real life spy Olga Grey which I always love and I spent too long googling up things on the internet as I wanted to learn more about her. I raced through this book in a couple of days which is no mean feat when you are homeschooling three children. I felt very sad to finish the book and have to leave Minnie behind.
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Simon and Schuster for my copy of this book. If you are a fan of gripping historical fiction based on real life historical figures then I thoroughly recommend this book.
About The Author:
Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time writer. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.