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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. Churchill believed Britain was locked in an existential battle and created a secret agency, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) , whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharp-shooting. Their job, he declared, was "to set Europe ablaze!" But with most men on the frontlines, the SOE did something unprecedented: it recruited women. Thirty-nine women answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France. Half were caught, and a third did not make it home alive.

In D-Day Girls, Sarah Rose draws on recently declassified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the story of three of these women. There's Odette Sansom, a young mother who feels suffocated by domestic life and sees the war as her ticket out; Lise de Baissac, an unflappable aristocrat with the mind of a natural leader; and Andrée Borrel, the streetwise organizer of the Paris Resistance. Together, they derailed trains, blew up weapons caches, destroyed power and phone lines, and gathered crucial intelligence - laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war.

Stylishly written and rigorously researched, this is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance, in which women continue to play a vital role.

About the Author

Sarah Rose

Sarah Rose is the author of FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History (Viking, 2010) , the true story of a 19th Century botanist who traveled undercover in Qing China to steal the secrets of tea for England and the East India Company; the largest act of corporate espionage in history.

Named the BBC's Book of the Week, FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA was called "a wonderful combination of scholarship and storytelling" by NPR and "An enthusiastic tale of how the humble leaf became a global addiction," by the Financial Times. It received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal and the AudioPhile Earphones Award for the author-read audiobook and was named an Editor's Choice pick for 2010.

In Hong Kong, Miami and New York, Rose has covered a broad range of beats including international politics and economics during the Hong Kong handover, finance and business during the end of the dot com bubble, the environment, and local stories such as cops, courts and schools. She now writes about food and travel for The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, Outside and Bon Appetit among others.

A Chicago native, Rose holds degrees from Harvard College and the University of Chicago.

For All the Tea in China is her first book, published by Viking in the US, Hutchison in the UK.

Visit her on the web at sarahrose.com

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