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Staying Alive (Soe Quartet Prequel) by…

Staying Alive (Soe Quartet Prequel)

by Alexander Fullerton

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Europe (1) fiction (1) history (1) land (1) SOE (1) wishlist (1) WWII (1)



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There’s always a risk, when an author writes a book about how his book was written, that the story might get lost in detail that’s fascinating only to the author. So it is with Staying Alive, the story of Rosie Quarry, the real live person behind the Rosie Ewing series of books by British author Alexander Fullerton.

Fullerton is about the same age as my father, which makes him a teenager for most of World War II. There’s very little about him on the web, but Fantastic Fiction‘ tells me that he was ‘a cadet at Dartmouth at the age of thirteen and went to sea serving first in the battleship Queen Elizabeth in the Mediterranean’. His first novel Surface was published in 1953 and became a bestseller, and he went on to establish himself as a prolific author of books with wartime themes.

He started his Rosie Ewing series in 1995, producing four novels about her adventures as a secret agent in France after Paris fell to the Germans in 1940. These were based on research so it must have been a bit of a shock when the real Rosie wrote to him and offered to tell him the story of her first mission. Staying Alive (2006) is Fullerton’s record of how they met and talked over a series of days in Paris, interwoven with the story of that mission.

The trouble is, the story of the mission is really interesting, but the back story is clumsily handled and doesn’t really earn its place in the book until the very end.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2010/02/19/staying-alive-by-alexander-fullerton/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Apr 10, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751539767, Paperback)

When wartime secret agent Rosie Quarry read Alexander Fullerton's four novels based on her adventures in German-occupied France, she wrote to him suggesting that he might like to hear the story of her first mission, when she'd parachuted into moonlit countryside near Cahors and made her way down to Toulouse to join the Special Operations Executive network as a radio operator and courier. Rosie is 24 at the time, when the expected life-span of a radio operator was six weeks. A group, codenamed Countryman, are briefed by London to get a certain German out of Vichy's hands—but what they don't know is that they themselves are being sold out to the Gestapo. Betrayal is the dread every agent lives with every minute of every day, but Rosie has survived to tell her extraordinary tale.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Rosie Quarry (wartime secret agent) read Alexander Fullerton's four novels based on her adventures in German-occupied France, she wrote to him suggesting that he might like to hear the story of her first mission. Rosie was 24 at the time, and the expected life-span of a radio-operator was six weeks. Originally published: London: Time Warner, 2.… (more)

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