The Lost Girls of Paris

Three brave women.
One daring mission.
And the ring of female spies who helped win the war.
A WWII novel inspired by true events.

A New York Times bestseller for over 10 weeks!
A New York Times bestseller for over 10 weeks!

Synopsis

The Lost Girls of Paris

Book

From the author of the runaway bestseller The Orphan's Tale comes a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female secret agents during World War II.

1946, Manhattan

While passing through Grand Central Terminal, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a network of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Praise

In The Lost Girls of Paris, Pam Jenoff has used her finely honed story-telling skills to give us a smart, suspenseful, and morally complicated spy novel for our time. Eleanor Trigg and her girls are every bit as human as they are brave. I couldn’t put this down.
Jessica Shattuck, New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle
Pam Jenoff deftly brings to life the history of ordinary women who left behind their home front lives to do the extraordinary—act as secret operatives in occupied territory. Fraught with danger, filled with mystery, and meticulously researched, The Lost Girls of Paris is a fascinating tale of the hidden women who helped to win the war.
Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
Based on true events, The Lost Girls of Paris showcases important WWII events and brings us three courageous, determined women who braved constant danger to survive this fascinating, little-known part of the war.
Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls
Pam Jenoff's meticulous research and gorgeous historical world-building lift her books to must-buy status. Her latest interweaves the gritty World War II exploits of England's female spies with the post-war struggle of damaged survivors trying to build new lives in the fallout of tragedy. An intriguing mystery and a captivating heroine make The Lost Girls of Paris a read to savor!
Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

About the Author

Pam Jenoff credit: Mindy Schwartz Sorasky

Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senior levels of government, including helping the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims secure their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, observing recovery efforts at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and attending ceremonies to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II at sites such as Bastogne and Corregidor.

Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam moved to the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Pam developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.

Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a labor and employment attorney both at a firm and in-house in Philadelphia and now teaches law school at Rutgers.

Pam is the author of The Kommandant's Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as The Winter Guest, The Diplomat's Wife, The Ambassador’s Daughter, Almost Home, A Hidden Affair and The Things We Cherished. She also authored a short story in the anthology Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

Books

The Diplomat's Wife
The Ambassador's Daughter
The Winter Guest
The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach
The Kommandant's Girl
The Orphan's Tale

Book Club Discussion Guide

  1. The title, The Lost Girls of Paris, refers to twelve female intelligence agents who disappeared while on their missions overseas. But the title has greater significance as well. In what ways are the three lead characters—Grace, Marie, and Eleanor—lost, and how are they ultimately found?
  2. The women in the novel defied common conventions about gender during the 1940s. How do you think the characters’ experiences might have been different if they lived in today’s world? In what ways might their experiences be similar?
  3. Grace, Marie, and Eleanor have very different backgrounds and come from very different worlds. But what are some commonalities between them and their stories? Which of the three women did you relate to most closely and why?
  4. Bravery and sacrifice are important themes throughout the book. In what ways did you see these themes playing out in each of the storylines?
  5. Why do you think the mystery of the suitcase and its contents resonated so powerfully with Grace? If you found a mysterious suitcase abandoned in a train station, like Grace does, what would you do?
  6. War makes ordinary people do extraordinary things – whether it’s going to great lengths to survive, or sacrificing one’s own life to save others. What impacts does the war have on the characters in the book? How might the characters’ lives unfolded differently had the war not happened?
  7. Each of the women in the book are put in a position of having to make a choice. Were there things you wished the women had done differently throughout the book or did you agree with their decisions?