From Marie Benedict, best-selling author of The Only Woman in the Room and Lady Clementine, comes a captivating work of historical fiction about a young female spy who may have changed the course of American history.
The tide is turning against the colonists in the Revolutionary War, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Morris cannot sit by idly. Quietly disdainful of her Tory parents, who drag her along to society events and welcome a British soldier into their home during their occupation of New York City, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands. She realizes that, as a young woman, no one around her believes that she can comprehend the profound implications of being a nation at war – she is, effectively, invisible. And she can use this invisibility to her advantage. Her unique access to British society leads her to a role with General George Washington’s own network of spies: the Culper Ring.
Based on true events, Agent 355 combines adventure, romance, and espionage to bring to life this little-known story of a hero who risked her life to fight for freedom against all odds
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Fly girl’s Review
I love happy surprises. This one sure fit the bill. I was getting bored with the paranormal and historical romance I’d been reading and contemporary and rom com just didn’t seem to fit the bill. Then I found this little Audible Original. The blurb caught my attention and I thought I’d give it a try. What a refreshing listen to cleanse the palette.
Marie’s knowledge of the American Revolution is outstanding and she tells this tale from inside the loyalist part of New York, a side i’ve never really been exposed to. Although we are learning about revolutionaries, we are learning about more than taxation without representation, but the idiocy of the British and how their feeling of superiority cost them the war. Thank goodness too. There is a romance in this story, but it is more about the revolution and how women were putting themselves in just as much danger as the men during those trying times. She also captures the societal norms of the era very well and keeps us from feeling like this isn’t a true story, but a make believe fairy tale like many do these days.
She tells us the story of a young lady who pushes her way into the Culper spy ring because it’s the only way she can live among the British and keep her sanity. Although Elizabeth is young, she understands the politics of the American Revolution very well. Her father has been sitting the middle line for his business interests so he can take care of his family no matter the way the wind blows, but Elizabeth has no such compunction. As she is subjected to a full season in New York with her family she realizes everyone treats her like she is invisible. So she uses that to her advantage as part of the Culper spy ring bringing forth major news of the British strategy to Washington’s army through her contact. It makes me wonder how many others did the same thing to the British and helped us win the war. What our country would have looked like if we hadn’t.
Back to the book. Marie adds some romance into the story but fills in a lot of why she chose to tell the tale this way in the acknowledgements at the end. I think she could be right, or just as right as the next person. However, I love her telling of the tale this way and will probably always remember it this way. This book surely brought me out of my usual head space and got me unstuck with my reading. I’m grateful for that and look forward to another of her stories in my future. I’m giving this a 5 of 5 because it was well written, researched, and boosted my romance reading moral.
5 of 5 Propellers
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