Review by Booklist Review
During WWII, Cornioley was one of 39 women who worked with the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in France with the Resistance movement. Although she and the other members of the SOE were ordinary citizens, they played a crucial role in defeating the Germans. For seven months, Pearl worked as a courier under the assumed name Pauline. The editor of this English translation first learned about Cornioley while researching her book Women Heroes of World War II (2011). Until 1994, Cornioley had been reluctant to share her memoirs; however, she realized that young people needed to understand the dangerous situations people were willing to endure for freedom. She worked with a translator for the French edition, and she was later adamant that the English translation be accurate and not embellished. Thus, this work is straightforward and, at times, rather unimaginative in approach, but it could be a useful resource for a world-history library.--Petty, J. B. Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-Parachuted into France in 1943 to be a courier for a resistance group in Nazi-occupied France, 29-year-old Pearl Witherington ended up leading four Maquis groups-more than 3,500 French guerrilla warriors. They continued to harass and sabotage the enemy until late in 1944 when France was liberated. Agent Pauline then retreated to private life and married her French fiance. Not wanting her own role dramatized or exaggerated, she refused even to give interviews. But late in life, French journalist Larroque convinced her that her life story could be a model for young people. He first published a transcript of his interviews with Pearl and her husband, Henri Cornioley, himself, in French, and arranged for an English translation. Atwood has reordered that material into a straight narrative, preserving the subject's "own choice of words and her own style of speaking," but adding chapter-by-chapter introductory material for necessary historical background. The memoir begins with chapters about Pearl's childhood in France and Henri's early courtship, her escape from occupied France to England (both parents were English), and her training with the French section of the Special Operations Executive. But the major focus is on her year as a special agent: the parachute drop, life as a courier, and organizing and working with the Maquis. Not surprisingly, her story is less compelling than that of the fictional heroines of Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity (Hyperion, 2012), but it is authentic. She did, Witherington says in an appendix of extra interview material, what "had to be done."-Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
With Hervi Larroque. Edited by Kathryn J. Atwood. Cornioley's detailed account of her time as a British special agent in Nazi-occupied France is suited for readers already familiar with the basic events of World War II. She narrates with short sentences and a matter-of-fact tone that keeps readers at a distance from her story, but the material is well documented and thorough. Appropriate for students needing primary source material. Bib., ind. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
One of the most celebrated female World War II resistance fighters shares her remarkable, heroic story in this revealing chronicle of her experiences as a special agent for the British Special Operations Executive. French-born British citizen Cornioley tells her story through a series of reminiscences, including her difficult childhood spent in the shadow of World War I, her family's harrowing escape from Paris as the Germans approached in 1940, her recruitment and training as a special agent, and parachuting into a remote, rural area of occupied France. She assumed the identity of a cosmetics saleswoman to make her way around the country as an SOE courier. Cornioley vividly recounts acts of espionage, sabotage and several dramatic narrow escapes. She became "Pauline" when she was put in command of a 3,500-strong group of French Resistance fighters when the leader of her network was captured by the Gestapo. Each chapter opens with remarks providing context and background on the SOE and the French Resistance. Appendices include an annotated list of key figures and original, unedited interview extracts with Cornioley. A gripping, true story of a courageous secret agent fighting behind enemy lines, as riveting as any work of historical fiction. (photographs, source notes, bibliography) (Memoir. 12-18)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.