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Sisters in Resistance

how a German spy, a banker's wife, and Mussolini's daughter outwitted the Nazis

Tilar J. Mazzeo

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Scribe Publications
04 August 2022
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The extraordinary true story of how three women - a fascist's daughter, a German spy, and an American socialite - raced against Hitler's SS to get key evidence into the hands of the Allies.

In 1943, Edda Mussolini, daughter of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, gave her father and Hitler an extraordinary ultimatum- release her husband, Italy's former foreign minister, Galeazzo Ciano, from prison, or risk her leaking her husband's diaries to the press.

Knowing the diaries would expose Nazi lies and create a foundation for war crimes prosecutions, Hitler and Mussolini vowed to do everything in their power to see the diaries destroyed - even if it meant killing Mussolini's daughter. To do this, they ordered Hilde Beetz, a German spy, to seduce Ciano in prison in order to learn the diaries' location. However, the seducer became the seduced, joining forces with Edda to try to save Ciano from execution. When this failed, Edda fled, with Hilde's daring assistance, to keep Ciano's final wish- to see the diaries published for use by the Allies.

Upon learning of Edda's escape, the head of United States intelligence, Alan Dulles, sent in socialite Frances de Chollet, assigned by chance to a mission that would change her life. Her task was to find Edda, gain her trust, and, crucially, hand the diaries over to the Americans. Against all expectations, what developed was a rich and humanising friendship between the two women. Staying one step ahead of the Gestapo agents who were hunting Edda, together they succeeded in preserving one of the most important historic documents of World War II.

Containing all the detailed twists and turns of a spy thriller, this is the story of three women, each faced with unbearable pressures and weighty moral questions, whose lives were drawn together in one of the most unlikely rescues of World War II.

'University of Montreal literature professor Mazzeo unravels a tangled knot of Fascist intrigue and family infighting in this riveting WWII history ... Mazzeo efficiently relates these complex events and renders empathetic portraits of the story's main players. WWII buffs will be enthralled.' -Publishers Weekly

Praise for Irena's Children- ' An incredible account.' -New York Times Book Review

Praise for Eliza Hamilton- 'Drawing from an impressive breadth of sources ... this is an expertly told story that's certain to captivate Hamilton fans and intrigue anyone interested in early US history.' -Publishers Weekly
Imprint:   Scribe Publications
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   464g
ISBN:   9781922585639
ISBN 10:   1922585637
Pages:   352
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestselling author of books that include Irena's Children, The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and The Hotel on the Place Vendome. She also writes on food and wine for the mainstream press and is the Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College. Her books have been published in over 16 languages internationally.

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