On a day when we celebrate freedom, I’m reminded of the sacrifices of another generation in another war–
I wrote about those times in Cleopatra’s Perfume, the personal diary of a woman’s fight for freedom.
War is hell. Ask anyone on the front lines. The fighting, the bombing, the killing. But there was another kind of war fought during World War II. A war behind the scenes in elegant hotels, loud cabarets and dark alleys. Brave men and women standing up to Hitler’s war machine and giving everything they had to keep the world free.
A few years ago I found myself in the Latin Quarter in Paris on a cold winter night, the chilly wind whipping my coat around me, footsteps behind me seemingly coming out of nowhere. I looked up and saw a plaque on the wall of a building proclaiming that on this spot two French Resistance fighters lost their lives fighting against the Nazis in 1942. I shivered, their presence very real to me. As if it was their footsteps I heard and they still guarded this spot. I knew then in my heart I wanted to tell a story about the intrigue of that war and the lives that were changed forever.
I became fascinated with the men and women who dared to take on the dangerous job of working for the underground. I poured through first person accounts, letters, newspapers, magazines, history books and newsreels of spies, Resistance fighters, downed pilots and ordinary people who gave up everything they held most dear to fight against the Nazi invasion. I thank them for their sacrifice and dedication to freedom.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!