Dragonfly by Leila Meacham
Publication Date: July 9th, 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
At the height of WWII, five idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the OSS, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds--a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer -- all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of his or her own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. Soon after their training, they are dropped behind enemy lines and take up their false identities, isolated from one another except for a secret drop-box, but in close contact with the powerful Nazi elite who have Paris under siege. Thus begins a dramatic and riveting cat-and-mouse game, as the young Americans seek to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But...is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?
Oh my heart, this book! *chefs kiss* This book was perfection. Throughout reading Dragonfly, I tried to balance wanting to read it as quick as possible while also trying to savour every moment and every line. I was holding my breath while turning the pages and became unbearably invested with these characters!
I have never read a Leila Meacham book before but I am so happy this was my introduction. I love historical fiction in general and with this one being based during WWII, I was 100% on board. I really didn’t fully grasp what I was getting into when I picked it up but the journey I went on was one I won’t soon forget. Dragonfly is a page-turner that gives you zero down-time where Meacham expertly crafts the heroing stories of 5 American spies (who have gone beyond enemy lines to help the war effort) into a cinematic masterpiece on paper. I gasped, I cried, I laughed, I bit my lip in anticipation as events unfolded and I truly felt like I was among the characters.
Upon opening the book, there is a character list that gives you each name, codename and undercover alias for our team as well as other players during the story and what their roles in the war were. This gave me a brief pause thinking that I may get confused over whose POV I was reading but I did not have to worry. Each character was distinctive and Meacham was able to integrate each alias to the point where it was natural to attach three different names to each person.
The scope of this story was amazing in terms of how each member of Dragonfly had their own mission, their own hurdles, their own risks, their own reason for joining the team and every step, every moment is perilous for them. And yet no matter how separate they are, there is always the potential that one decision could effect everyone. I loved each and every one of their journeys and waited with baited breath to see where they would lead.
I loved the way that these stories are told and how the book is divided into parts, it is a perfect way to set the scene. I fell in love with these characters and wished for them to come out of everything unscathed but war is relentless and time cannot heal all wounds. Dragonfly gives you action, subterfuge, friendships to last a lifetime, hope, loss, glimpses of joy and so much more. I cannot recommend this one enough.