At the beginning of the year I read the book The Glass Room by Simon Mawer.  I didn’t like everything about the book, but the characters and the writing was haunting.  I quickly put Trapeze, his new novel, on my reading list.

Last weekend I was in the library and there it was on the shelf – Trapeze.  I actually gasped.  I was in between books and it was the perfect time to jump in to something new.  I took it home and tore through it this week.

It’s always a good sign with a book if you have to keep putting it down, taking a deep breath and repeat ‘it’s just a fictional character, it’s just a fictional character’.  I was so caught up in the tension of the plot.

The main character of the book is Marian/Alice/Anne-Marie/Lawrence an innocent English young woman turned World War II spy.  She survives the training throughout the country to cross-over into France and face the real foes there.  The romantic plot seems very secondary.  The childhood love Clemente versus fellow spy  Benoit.  Does she love either of them?  Both of them?  Who will she choose?

Mawer does a masterful job at building the tension as Marian takes on more and more difficult assignments.  You watch as she becomes tougher and tougher.

I won’t give away the ending, but then tension holds to the end.

Marion is a hard to forget.  She isn’t loveable, but she’s unforgettable.  I’ll carry this book around for a while with me.

It’s not a pretty book or an easy book to read.  The characters are tough and the circumstances aren’t storybook, but it is a very well written book.


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