Book Review

The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Librarians and spies… need I say more? This WWII historical fiction is an inspiring tale of courage and hope, set amidst the backdrop of German occupied France, and neutral Portugal.

Reader’s Thoughts:

Earlier this year, I picked The Last Bookshop in London up off my shelf and promptly fell in love. So, when I heard that Madeline Martin had another book coming out in 2022, it moved to the top of my to-be-read-list!

Although this book is set within the popular WWII setting, The Librarian Spy feels fresh and unique within the genre! Ava is an American librarian who is offered a position in Lisbon. Her assignment? To pose as a librarian, all the while, gathering wartime intelligence and sending it back to the United States.

I have never read a book set in Portugal during this time period and I loved that Martin picked this little known fact about librarian spies as a key plot point. Clearly, a lot of research went into this novel. The setting of Lisbon truly came alive on these pages and had me utterly transported!

I also loved Elaine’s perspective, set in occupied France. This part of the story featured the resistance and their use of printing presses to get information across. The bravery of these men and women was incredible. This portion of the story was emotionally moving and absolutely inspiring. Martin masterfully set the scene and created characters that made the pages come alive.

The Librarian Spy is another gorgeous read by Madeline Martin. The writing is fluid and beautiful, and the story touching. While there were moments in Ava’s storyline that felt a little slower moving, I would wholeheartedly recommend this story to fans of historical fiction. Full of courage, resistance, and sacrifice, this story was a lovely read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Recommended for:

Readers who enjoy WWII historical fiction with unique settings

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. eArc provided courtesy of Netgalley and HTPbooks. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the book:

(From the publisher) From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London comes a moving new novel inspired by the true history of America’s library spies of World War II.

Ava thought her job as a librarian at the Library of Congress would mean a quiet, routine existence. But an unexpected offer from the US military has brought her to Lisbon with a new mission: posing as a librarian while working undercover as a spy gathering intelligence.

Meanwhile, in occupied France, Elaine has begun an apprenticeship at a printing press run by members of the Resistance. It’s a job usually reserved for men, but in the war, those rules have been forgotten. Yet she knows that the Nazis are searching for the press and its printer in order to silence them.

As the battle in Europe rages, Ava and Elaine find themselves connecting through coded messages and discovering hope in the face of war.

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