Agent Sonya: Lover, Mother, Soldier and Spy

Another top-notch non-fiction book by Ben Macintyre, telling the story of a remarkable WWII spy.

This tale takes ‘Sonya’ from Nazi Germany to New York, Shanghai, Moscow, Mukden, Warsaw, London, Geneva, Oxford and back to Berlin, spanning the years before, during and after WWII.

I admit that I have become something of a Ben Macintyre fan of late, having enjoyed both Agent Zigzag and A Foreign Field in recent months.

Agent Sonya continues in the now-familiar Macintyre tradition of writing about extraordinary lives from wartime; lives that seem fantastical and unbelievable yet are totally true.

Here’s the blurb on the back:

Ursula Kuczynski was a mother, housewife, novelist, expert radio technician, spymaster, courier, saboteur, bomb-maker, Cold Warrior and secret agent, all at the same time. Her codename was ‘Sonya’. This is her story.

Here’s a video from The National WWII Museum featuring the author and historian Ben Macintyre talking about Ursula Kuczynski.

Ursula Kuczynski’s story covers a lot of ground; politically, metaphorically and geographically. The appeal for me is that a large part of her story took place locally, in rural Oxfordshire in villages and towns familiar to me. To know that all this espionage took place so close to where I live is pretty thrilling.

She played a part in sharing secrets with the Russians on how to build the atomic bomb and was involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. What a remarkable life!

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