“Avenue of Spies” written by Alex Kershaw is a true story of an American family’s decision to aid the French resistance in helping Allied flyers escape Nazi-occupied France during World War II. What makes this book so exciting is that this family lived amidst the SS Gestapo just a few yards from their home. Sumner Jackson, an American doctor working at the American Hospital in Paris, his French wife, Toquette, and their son, Phillip all aided the resistance in their own way. Sumner hid Allied prisoners in the hospital until he could find a way to get them to safety. Toquette provided a clearing house for messages to and from the resistance and the Allies. Phillip was not supposed to be involved as he was only twelve when the Nazis occupied France, but as he got older he was not ignorant of the work of his parents. As the Allies advanced after D-Day into France and Paris, the city, attempts were made to remove those enemies of the Germans from the city into Germany. Prisoners were being killed or transported to work camps in Germany in order that they could not reveal the atrocities that were committed by the Nazis and the Milice (French paramilitary working with the Nazis).
Even though I have read countless novels regarding the Nazis and the atrocities that were committed during the war, the idea that this is a true story of one family’s courage, determination and selflessness during that insane time, brings it more to life for me. It is evident that much research went into the writing of this book and so I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this time period of history.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books.com in exchange for my honest review. No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.