"Mr Churchill's Secretary" is the Smartest Woman in the Room
By Scandalous Women on April 20, 2012
I cannot wait to pick up a copy of Susan Elia MacNeal Mr Churchill's Secretary. It hits so many of my happy spots. It's historical fiction and set in WWII. Even more than that, it's about a smart woman who is playing a pretty vital role in the war effort. I've always wondered what it would be like to have worked in Churchill's war room. After reading Elizabeth Mahon's review, I am already counting the days until the sequel, Princess Elizabeth's Spy comes out. - Karen
I now have a girl crush on Maggie Hope. British born but raised in America (a Wellesley graduate to boot, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), Maggie is brave, bold, brilliant and brash. She's not afraid to speak her mind, but she's also not without her flaws, she's prickly and stubborn, a little too certain that she's right at times. Probably because she grew up always being the smartest girl in a room. She has a passion for mathematics, and just wants to be able to use her skills for the war effort, not be stuck as a typist, even if she's typing for Winston Churchill.
Some of the best scenes in the book were Maggie's one-on-one scenes with the PM, with just a few deft strokes, MacNeal manages to convey the boundless and unrelenting energy of Winston Churchill. The book is both a fast-paced thriller with just enough surprises to keep the reader gasping, as well as an intimate portrait of Britain at war, scene through the eyes of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
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