"The Golden Doves" | Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
The World War II historical novel “The Golden Doves,” by Martha Hall Kelly, grabs you from the beginning and keeps you engaged to the last pages. It is the story of two women thrown together during the war while working for the French Resistance.
The book begins after the war, in 1952, when American Josie Anderson, who is working for the U.S. Army Intelligence agency, is assigned to hunt down and bring back an infamous Nazi, Dr. Snow, known for his experiments on concentration camp prisoners. Meanwhile Parisian Arlette La Rue is working at a cafe spending all of her extra time and money trying to locate her son, Will, who was taken from her while in the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp.
Working together in France during the war, Josie and Arlette are able to intercept and steal many Nazi secrets. They became known throughout France as the Golden Doves and their work was crucial to the success of the French Resistance. They were hunted by the Gestapo. Due to a fluke encounter they were arrested and sent to Ravensbruck where horrible atrocities were meted out. When the women were released, Josie returned to the U.S. and Arlette to Paris.
Their enduring friendship continues when the two are reunited once again. Josie travels throughout Europe following clues that may lead her to Dr. Snow. While Arlette tries to locate her son, after receiving a prospective lead on his whereabouts. The Doves are back, working together, following clues that lead them to the French Guiana with its many secrets. Their wiles and cooperation will be crucial to their success.
This intriguing story is based on true events. Readers will learn details about the history of the time and the impact it had on people involved during and after the war. The author’s notes include information on the U.S. Army’s Operation Paperclip, the Ratlines, Ravensbruck and Kinderzimmer, all places and events referenced in this novel. If you enjoy World War II historical fiction, and books with strong women characters, pick up a copy of “The Golden Doves.”