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Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant: Undercover & Overwhelmed as a CIA Wife and Mother

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A charming and unusual portrait of the secret life. – John le Carré

Pico Iyer writes,"Lillian McCloy gives us the story of a life spent around secret intelligence that is funny and charming and in every wonderful sense, deeply spooky.”

Imagine keeping a secret so important that it could threaten your spouse or children’s lives if it were discovered.

- Imagine that secret be
...more
Kindle Edition
Published July 7th 2016 by Bordertown Publishing
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Story Circle Book Reviews
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Lillian McCloy's debut memoir, Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant: Undercover & Overwhelmed as a CIA Wife and Mother, is a fascinating inside look at an undercover life. McCloy is a brilliant story teller, sharing honest emotions without becoming sentimental. Her husband's new assignments required learning to live in new and diverse cultures and often created palpable tension. This is a fascinating reading adventure. Sometimes I had to remind myself this is not a novel, its Lillian's life. Wow!

L
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HR-ML
Oct 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Gave this non-fiction book 3.5 stars.

The author Lillian was wed to Frank, a Marine fighter pilot,
then a "deep cover" CIA officer in Madrid, New Delhi
India, Japan and Venezuela. Frank served in the CIA from
1962- 1982.

The author said CIA officers connected to a US embassy
had better food, housing, use of a car, their kids had
better schooling and future connection to a college (the
University of Virginia). CIA had HQ in Langley, Va. Why
didn't the CIA provide the same benefits for "deep cover
...more
Mal Warwick
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
From 1964 to 1982, former Marine fighter pilot Frank McCloy served under deep cover in the CIA in Madrid, Delhi, Tokyo, and Caracas. But he was far from alone. His wife, Lillian, and three young children shared the experience with him of culture shock, life-threatening illness, and danger from lunatic drivers and dismissed servants. And five years after Frank's untimely death in 1986, Lillian McCloy began writing about that experience in a revealing memoir, Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant.

An
...more
Leah Rachel von Essen
Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant is a book by Lillian McCloy about her time as the wife of a CIA deep cover agent. The memoir is intriguing in many ways—it expresses well the immense burden of working for the CIA, including the surprising financial struggles—of being harshly budgeted yet expected to entertain and appear like you're being paid as a business executive, of needing to pay taxes as an executive but then not being able to write in your true finances when applying for your children's ...more
Marcia Mildenburger
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A delightful book which kept me wondering about their next experience!

The author deftly related their family 's experience as the husband/father 's profession as a deep undercover agent in several countries gave their life excitement, sometimes deprivation and terror. The wife was definitely an asset to her husband in supporting him unstintingly and with quick thinking and imagination. Along with seeing the humor in things it also showed her sensitivity and insight. Kudos to this woman.
...more
Mary
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Madrid, India and Tokyo! Glamorous postings? Perhaps for the person under deep cover but probably not for the family members who accompany them.
Surprisingly, our military, Secret Service and the CIA are penurious when dealing with the families of their recruits.
Masie_D
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-spy-museum
It is moment by moment - raw emotions- honest . Gives you a good sense for what that life was like.
Jennifer
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read!

Learned a lot about the lifestyle of a CIA family. It is rather saddening yet eye opening. Great perspective and easy read.
Kathy
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I was hoping for more "spy" stuff. I liked hearing about the places she lived...not just as a visitor, but a resident. ...more
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