The book: Susan Isaacs, SHINING THROUGH. Harper Torch paperback reprint, 1988
First read: 1990
Owned since: c. 2000 (this copy)
Some books are as good as a vacation. Exhibit A: Shining Through, which my former roommate Leigh introduced me to. Love, war, infidelity, espionage, Nazis -- what more could you want?
Shining Through is the story of Linda Voss, a German-Jewish legal secretary from Brooklyn who falls in love with the (married) partner she works for -- but, as the story unfolds, winds up married to him and working in Washington during the Second World War. A series of crises convinces her to volunteer as a spy for the OSS, and she spends half the war hidden as a cook in the household of a high-ranking Nazi official. Along the way she finds true love and pride in her heritage, and the ending is as good as a movie.
I've given at least three of my copies of this book away, because it is an infallible mood-lifter. I've reread the book often enough that I can read it again in an afternoon -- and I do, at least once a year, if I'm sick or depressed or disgusted with the world.
They made a dreadful movie out of the book, wreaking havoc on the plot and making some terrible casting decisions. Someone should try again, maybe as a miniseries.
I'm blogging right now instead of sitting on an airplane because I'm extending my stay for a couple of days ... home again on Wednesday.