With so many books published about World War II, it is hard to imagine reading a new one. And yet, with Agent Josephine journalist and bestselling author Damien Lewis delivers one that will tempt readers to do just that.
Josephine Baker was a Black girl born into poverty in St. Louis in the early days of the 20th century. Though immensely talented and eager to perform from an early age, she was largely shut out of her home country, thanks to its brutal segregation laws. But she found a welcome audience in Europe and became a Parisian star, lauded by Hemingway, painted by Picasso and legendary for her singing, dancing and bold onstage sexuality--until the arrival of the Nazis, whose repellent ideology forced Josephine away from the stages and city she loved. In a courageous effort, Josephine turned spy, working with British intelligence and French Resistance fighters to liberate a continent.
Lewis (The Flame of Resistance) writes with a flair for hard-boiled drama, sharing insights into the clandestine world of espionage and its nests of expert, aristocratic spymasters; hard-living, shrewd field agents; and debonair mafiosos with their hideous henchmen. The drama is balanced with lively details. Readers will delight in tales of Josephine with her entourage of animals, including a pet cheetah named Chiquita, and fall for a narrative that almost resembles a friends-to-lovers romance, were it not for the immense stakes and horrifying consequences of failure. Agent Josephine is a wonderful addition to the canon of World War II stories. --Walker Minot, teacher, freelance writer and reviewer