“Becoming Clementine” by Jennifer Niven
Publisher’s Synopsis: After delivering a B-17 Flying Fortress to Britain, an American volunteers to copilot a plane carrying special agents to their drop spot over Normandy. Her personal mission: to find her brother, who is missing in action. Their plane is shot down, and only she and five agents survive. Now they are on the run for their lives.
As they head to Paris, the beautiful aviatrix Velva Jean Hart becomes Clementine Roux, a daring woman on an epic adventure with her team to capture an operative known only as “Swan.” Once settled on Rue de la Néva, Clementine works as a spy with the Resistance and finds herself falling in love with her fellow agent, Émile, a handsome and mysterious Frenchman with secrets of his own. When Clementine ends up in the most brutal prison in Paris, trying to help Émile and the team rescue Swan, she discovers the depths of human cruelty, the triumph of her own spirit, and the bravery of her team, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission.
2 out of 5 stars
Before reading this book, I was unaware this was the third in a series. It can and does stand alone, but makes frequent references to previous books and it would have been helpful to read those first.
Velva Jean is a WWII WASP, a member of the Women’s Air Service Pilot Corps in 1944 and it is her mission to fly over the Atlantic to deliver men and supplies. Velva Jean also has a secret agenda – to find her brother who has gone missing since D-Day.
While flying missions, she crashes in France and joins the Resistance as a way to both serve her country and keep searching for her brother. She must learn to survive unsuspected and becomes Clementine Roux, a spy for the French Resistance. Clementine has one mission: to find the operative Swan and bring her home.
I enjoyed the book, but felt a little disconnected from it. I think this would be a great book for someone who was looking for something light, something historical, perhaps something that could be considered YA reading. This book is all of those things, and wasn’t what I expected. I wanted more flying, more spying, more DOING something and there was a great deal of waiting in this book.
I guess I wanted a gritty retelling of what a WASP went through in WWII,and this book is not gritty. It’s a polished up version of a terrible time in history.