Code Name: Lise

By Larry Loftis

This is the true story of the most decorated spy in World War II, a woman from England, born and raised in France.  Odette Sansom moved to England as a young woman and married a British man.  She has three children when World War II breaks out.  Her father had been killed at the very end of World War I, and her grandfather had encouraged her to do their duty if the time came.  She is recruited by the new British spy agency, SOE, to serve as a spy in World War II.  Even though she felt very ordinary, and she had three young kids, she decides to go as a spy.  She is a woman small of stature, but fierce in her spirit.  She is fearless and loyal.

 After six months of spy activity in southern France, she is arrested by the Gestapo.  For the next two years, until the end of the war, she is in various German prisons.  It is miraculous that she survives.  She is tortured.  She is near death on more than one occasion.  She inspires other prisoners, and even German guards.  But she ends up surviving, as does her boss, a man whom she also fell in love with and later married.

 This is a superb, riveting story of espionage and resistance in World War II France.  It was hard to put down.