The Invisible Woman [Book Review]

February 9, 2021

The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck

The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck (cover) Image: a woman walks with her back to the camera across an empty field with shadows of airplanes on the ground

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WWII, Resistance Movement, France

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Thank you, #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for my complimentary e ARC of #TheInvisibleWoman upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Invisible Woman is based on the true story of Virginia Hall who trades in a safe life to work as an Allied Spy with the Resistance Movement in France during World War 11. Her first operation ended in betrayal, so now she’s more determined than ever to prove herself, to protect the people she recruits, and to help the Resistance prepare for D-Day. Despite her painful foot prosthetic (nicknamed Cuthbert) and episodes of PTSD, Virginia is determined, brave, cunning, and committed.

Virginia Hall wireless operator in WW11

Virginia Hall as a wireless operator in WW11.

Virginia Hall receives the Distintuised Service Cross in 1945

Virginia Hall receives the Distinguished Service Cross in 1945.

My Thoughts:

What would you do for the country you love?

Would you work for the Resistance Movement if you knew the life expectancy of a spy was six weeks?

Engaging and Well-Written: The Invisible Woman is an inspirational, engaging, and compelling story from beginning to end….especially because it is based on a real person. Telling it from only Virginia’s perspective with several flashbacks to fill in her backstory, makes the story straightforward and easy to follow.  I appreciate the in-depth research (don’t miss the author’s notes), richly-drawn characters, and vivid descriptions of time and place.

Main Character: I love that Virginia is a complex and complicated character. She’s tough-minded, a demanding leader, and smart with her disguises and in her planning. It’s amazing to think about her strength and endurance for all the walking and biking she did over rough terrain! On the other hand, the author reveals her vulnerabilities, her struggles with PTSD, her physical pain, her emotions over the loss of team members, and her pondering about motherhood. I think she’s inspirational as a representative of a person with a physical disability and a mental health challenge.

Themes: Thoughtful themes include all the ones you might expect: courage, determination, against-the-odds, compassion, loyalty, following your heart, mental health, physical disabilities, strength, taking risks, and love of country.

Recommended: I’m enthusiastically and highly recommending The Invisible Woman for your next unputdownable histfic read! Fans of real-life, strong, independent women as well as WW11 buffs will appreciate the story. This would also make a great book club pick.

There is also a movie! Here’s the trailer for A Call to Spy on YouTube. (Thanks Nicki!)

Here’s a podcast interview from Thoughts From a Page with the author!

Related: Other books I’ve read about women spies and/or the resistance movement in WWII include Code Name Helene, Resistance Women, The Alice Network, The Last Train to London, The Book of Lost Names, and The Lost Girls of Paris.

My Rating:  5 Stars


The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman Information Here

Meet the Author, Erika Robuck

Author Erika RobuckErika Robuck is the national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl, Call Me Zelda, Fallen Beauty, The House of Hawthorne, and Receive Me Falling. She is also a contributor to the anthology Grand Central: Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion, and to the Writer’s Digest essay collection Author in Progress. #Hockeystrong, as E. Robuck, is her first satire. Her forthcoming novel, The Invisible Woman (Feb. 2021), is about real-life superwoman of WWII, Virginia Hall. In 2014, Robuck was named Annapolis’ Author of the Year, and she resides there with her husband and three sons.


Is The Invisible Woman on your TBR or have you read it?

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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  1. Soooo many WW2 books. I wouldn’t give up my life but wouldn’t mind some jailtime to prevent these democrats from ruining us further, that’s about the extent of my willing resistance lol

    • Every time I finish another WW11 book I think “That’s it! I’m done with the sub genre!” Then another amazing story comes along!

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