The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin is an engaging story with a dual storyline. Two women are connected by the role newspapers play in the dispersing of information during World War II.
Ava is seconded from her job at the Library of Congress, in Washington to Lisbon, Portugal to turn European newspapers into microfilm which is then sent to the US. This gives the authorities a better understanding of the true state of conditions in the German-occupied countries.
Meanwhile, Elaine is in Lyon and recently agreed to work with the French Resistance. She learns to operate the printing press and plays a key role in circulating information. Ultimately Ava manages to obtain the newsletters that Elaine prints.
Alternative chapters, tell us more about the vital roles these two women play and also about their personal lives. Madeline Martin does a good job of weaving the two women’s stories together. The book is well-written and well-researched. It provides a different perspective on the war and insights into the personal lives of many who are caught up in the conflict.
Overall, the story is heartbreaking at times, but also hopeful as it shows people’s resilience in the face of immense difficulties.