Can’t Wait Wednesday – Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in for over a year now, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon.  I’ve really been in the mood for historical fiction lately and after enjoying Lawhon’s last novel, I Was Anastasia, I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with another story that is based on an actual person.  I hadn’t heard of Nancy Wake prior to reading this blurb, but she sounds like she must have been an incredible women.  I got inspired just reading about everything that she did during WWII.


Code Name Hélène

by Ariel Lawhon

Publication Date:  April 7, 2020



From Netgalley:

BASED ON THE THRILLING REAL-LIFE STORY OF SOCIALITE SPY NANCY WAKE, comes the newest feat of historical fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia, featuring the astonishing woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII.

Told in interweaving timelines organized around the four code names Nancy used during the war, Code Name Hélène is a spellbinding and moving story of enduring love, remarkable sacrifice and unfaltering resolve that chronicles the true exploits of a woman who deserves to be a household name.

It is 1936 and Nancy Wake is an intrepid Australian expat living in Paris who has bluffed her way into a reporting job for Hearst newspaper. She is fighting to cover the disturbing reports of violence coming out of Vienna and Berlin when she meets the wealthy French industrialist Henri Fiocca. No sooner does Henri sweep Nancy off her feet and convince her to become Mrs. Fiocca than the Germans invade France and she takes yet another name: a code name.

As LUCIENNE CARLIER she smuggles people and documents across borders under the guise of an oblivious mistress. Soon enough the Gestapo hears of a female operative with a remarkable ability to evade capture, and Nancy earns a new nickname: THE WHITE MOUSE. But this one carries with it a five million franc bounty on her head. Forced to escape France and leave Henri behind for the safety of both of them, Nancy enters training with the Special Operations Executives, who transform her into HÉLÈNE. Finally, with mission in hand, Nancy is airdropped back into France as the deadly MADAM ANDRÉE. She soon becomes one of the most powerful leaders in the French Resistance, known for her ferocious wit, her signature red lipstick, and her ability to summon weapons straight from the Allied Forces. But no one can protect Nancy if the enemy finds out these four women are one and the same, and the closer to liberation France gets, the more exposed she–and the people she loves–will become.


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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

26 replies
  1. verushka
    verushka says:

    … wait, she was Australian? I think I remember The White Mouse from the news here at some point. Ms Wake sounds magnificent and so damned badass. Thanks for putting this on my radar Suzanne!

  2. Vi @Inkvotary
    Vi @Inkvotary says:

    This sounds great! And with the historical background and with me living in Germany, this sounds like a book I simply have to read. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Best wishes

  3. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    It’s been too long since I dived into a historical novel like this. These are my favorite kinds. Nancy Wake sounds like such an interesting person, and I am definitely intrigued. I am adding this to my wish list right now. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I hope we both love it. Have a great day!

  4. Angie Elle
    Angie Elle says:

    Ummm…WOW! That is quite the blurb. I can see why you are anxiously awaiting this one! And the face that the author previously wrote something you enjoyed sweetens the pot.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Oh I’ve heard about Nancy Wake, I think she was from New Zealand originally though if I remember correctly and moved to Sydney when she was a young girl. She was such a remarkable woman, I think she was the most wanted woman at one point as well, that’s how important she was. I love historical women pushing boundaries and I can’t wait to grab a copy of this one as well. Brilliant pick Suzanne!

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