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The White Mouse

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  677 ratings  ·  69 reviews
The Gestapo called her White Mouse. Nancy Wake, a New Zealander who became one of the most highly decorated women of WW II, here she tells her own story.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published by Pan Macmillan (first published January 1st 1985)
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Self-written bio (which ups this in my eyes, a lot!) of one lovely hero of a girl!

But what could an inexperienced girl like myself do or hope to achieve when so many brilliant well-informed men had failed to make an impact on the outside world? © PLENTY, it turns out.
Suddenly I had one of those queer sensations one can get at times. I looked, and there he was. Our eyes met and I hesitated for a second and walked quickly away. But something pulled me back and I stood staring at him for a few
Doug Beddie
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I personally knew Nancy Wake & her 2nd Husband John when they were living in Port Macquarie & heard some of her history 1st hand, She was an amazing woman. ...more
Michael Todd
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I didn't want this book to end and I'm going to miss Nancy Wake's company. In addition to a story you won't want to put down, the book's "warts and all" candor about the French, British and Americans is refreshing. Her opinions are valid, being she was an Australian, trained in England to fight in the French Resistance.

Nancy's very humble about her adventures, considering everything she went through and her sense of humor is wicked. The death of her husband from the hands of the Nazis takes you
This is an autographed copy from this amazing lady!
Deborah Ideiosepius
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed it for its subject matter and its forthright style. The story of how an Australian woman living in France came to be an active resistance worker in WWII. The style is very brisk and blunt - it resonates as if a straightforward person were telling you about their experiences directly with no literary artifacts. Nancy becomes a real person to the reader very fast and her matter of fact way of dealing with the story is bracing.

I give it less than four stars only because this style of wri
Aug 19, 2012 marked it as to-read
Such a badass. And a much better role-model for young girls, cf. some people/books/characters I will not mention.
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure lovers and admirers of gutsy ladies
Recommended to Wayne by: Russell Braddon
Nancy Wake died recently at 98.
I first read the Russell Braddon biography in the late 1960's.
An excellent writer.
But I was thrilled to see that the secondhand volume I had purchased several years ago was actually an autobiography. With Nancy gone I really wanted to hear HER voice - and it was as refreshingly direct and honest as I had expected.

Nancy was a stunningly beautiful young woman.
She was also gutsy, feisty, sexy, daring, fun-loving, hard drinking,
straight forward, a faithful friend
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Nancy Wake was one tough lady. This autobiography relates Nancy's time in France during the 1930s and 1940s. She introduces a myriad of characters who played significant roles in her life. Nancy made an important contribution to the effort of the French resistance striving to drive the German invaders out of France. Nancy faced life-threatening situations with a dogged courage, a pull no punches demeanour and with staunch integrity. Nancy calls her story interesting but it is much more than that ...more
Delle Shepherd
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A true-life account of SOE Nancy Wake, aka The White Mouse. Reads like a thriller - my heart was pounding as Nancy set up links with Resistance workers, drove ambulances, transported black market goods, exchanged messages, came face to face with the Gestapo and was placed under arrest. Nancy Wake was tough and resourceful yet very feminine, and this book gives a 360 view of this fantastic lady, her love for her husband and dogs,and the grand lifestyle she gave up to fight. (On a purely girly not ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book that needs to be reissued so more people can read it. I borrowed it from my local library through interlibrary loan. Highly recommend.
Lea Manning
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
One up for women's lib. What a gutsy lady! Would have like more detail about her invovement within the resistance movement in this bio.
Rochelle Byrne
Mar 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Although the story is powerful and fascinating her autobiography is a struggle to read. The writing style is slow paced, full of names and facts and leaves me disinterested to keep reading.
Jan 10, 2016 added it
This is possibly the best book I have read. It most certainly is the top of my list in recent years.

Nancy Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1912. Both of her parents were New Zealanders and she and her family settled in Sydney, Australia when she was about 2 years old. She left Australia in the 1930's, when she was in her early twenties and settled in Paris in 1934 where she worked as a freelance journalist.

Nancy Wake was a believer in freedom and understood that freedom could not be
Scott Head
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an accessible memoir of a very unique woman filled with leadership skills, bravery and honesty. She was a leader of hundreds, feared by the Gestapo, and bold in her actions. I found that her escapades and daring exploits in the resistance occasionally challenged belief. Her estimation of things is frank, she is refreshingly not politically correct what-so-ever, and she is real and honest in her estimation of such holy-cows as the bad idea of homosexual warriors, the wickedness of commun ...more
Maria Lewis
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Nancy Wake's story is crazy, but those going in expecting this biography to be a reflection of that will be surprised. It's written very matter-of-fact in that it doesn't follow a narrative biography storytelling structure. Instead, it's Nancy recounting dates, locations, places, people, events one by one, each after the other, in an almost list-like fashion (which is part of its charm). As a journalist, I enjoyed this because it read much like a report in some instances. However, this may be fr ...more
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great autobiography that describes the amazing life and experiences of Nancy Wake aka The White Mouse.

Took me a while to read but I loved reading it. It felt like I was being told a story and the reading felt very personal, like a wee tête-à-tête as opposed to a full on true story fact-finding mission of information being thrown at me.

The ups were amazing and the downs were so heart wrenching. Nancy Wake was truly a marvelous force to be reckoned with who accomplished great things and helped m
David Brown
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. She was a journalist and it shows in her conversational style. She takes the reader through sometimes terrifying or very sad events in an unemotional matter of fact fashion. She covers the prewar 3o's to the end of the war and then jumps to the 70's when she was being courted to produce a film. She uses humour liberally. I particularly liked the comment "Bruce was Australian, but he'd acquired the polish of a sophisticated European." She also has a mature view of politics. ...more
Kathryn Bergeron
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Summary: Nancy Wake = Super Cool Resistance Fighter/Socialite


Review: I actually enjoyed this. It was my second Nancy Wake book, so I didn't pay as much attention as to the first one, but I like that Nancy chose random things to pay a lot of attention to. For example, you get 1 paragraph on how the Marquis she'd attached herself to escapes from thousands of German troops. But, you get, like, 6 pages on how much fun she had messing with other refugees on the trip acros
Ned Charles
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
An exciting and easy to read book.
Maybe not a comparable piece of literature to a top selling thriller writer, that is not what the book is about. It is a true story of a courageous lady who risked her life repeatedly to help others in WWII France. Her business was liberating France from an angry army who desperately wanted her dead.
Julie Censke
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
After seeing a story about Nancy Wake on Mysteries at the Museum, I had to learn more. This book is definitely worth the read if you enjoy WW2 books. Nancy Wake was a BADASS. Her story is an important one. It shows how an ordinary person can step up and be a hero in the face of extraordinary circumstances. Nancy, let's meet up in the afterlife for a drink.
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed reading this book, it was intersting to find out about Nancy's life as a spy during WW2. She achieved some amazing things. Even though she was born an Aussie, she really didnt spend that much time here and much preferred living in France and England.
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great!! Highly recommend.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book by an amazing woman who led an incredible life.
Anne Maesaka
I was quite disappointed in this book. I have no doubt Nancy Wake was a brave and wonderful woman, but I feel like this book does not really show in any depth her experiences in the French Resistance. She talks a lot about how much they drank, how they played practical jokes, and how she enjoyed parties and the people of France. She does discuss her time with the resistance but does not really go into any depth. She discusses almost none of her personal life, when her husbands pass away there ar ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm sure Nancy has a fascinating story but this book was not it. Her writing is very poor and she jumps around so much, it's hard to follow. She mentions many names of absolutely no importance to the story and always mentions them after she's already discussed the situation in which she met them. How she ever worked as a journalist is perhaps the most shocking aspect of this book.

That said, there must be a reason she is known as "The White Mouse". To find out, however, you will have to read anot
Apr 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
No. I cannot read this. It is not well written and she is not interesting to me. I find the narrative to be laden with names and events that are jammed in, references that often feel superfluous to what is (apparently) the central plot and a very slow slow pace. I would much prefer to read a biography of her written by someone that could write.

Adam Windsor
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
Nancy Wake's autobiography is very readable but if you hope to get a good sense of her wartime adventures you won't find it here: she might spend two pages on a month of operations and then five on the celebration they had at the end. Though one certainly can't begrudge her preferring to remember the happier times!
Sandy Neal
Aug 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
How a woman participated as a spy during WWII: the risks and consequences, the personality of one famous, still living spy and her words about that life. I read this for a book club. I was left with more questions.
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fantastic and informative
Sherri Stephens
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
She was an absolutely amazing woman.
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Does anyone have a copy to lend? 3 13 Jul 31, 2012 04:53PM  

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“When one remembers all the events in the 1930s which led to World War II, and to the victory which we were promised would bring peace and make the world a better place to live in, one can only wonder if it was all worth-while. We have only to look around us and see the same thing happening all over again. And old French saying can best express my sentiments.
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