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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, 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?


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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, 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?

30 review for Dragonfly

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I’ve read a few books by Leila Meacham. They are always sweeping with superb storytelling, and Dragonlfy is definitely my new favorite. Five men and women are contacted by the OSS during WWII to serve for their country. The five couldn’t be more different from each other. Their group has the code name Dragonfly. They are trained and then dropped behind enemy lines to carry out their missions. It’s a suspenseful, well-drawn, compelling story from start to finish. Will all five make it, and will t I’ve read a few books by Leila Meacham. They are always sweeping with superb storytelling, and Dragonlfy is definitely my new favorite. Five men and women are contacted by the OSS during WWII to serve for their country. The five couldn’t be more different from each other. Their group has the code name Dragonfly. They are trained and then dropped behind enemy lines to carry out their missions. It’s a suspenseful, well-drawn, compelling story from start to finish. Will all five make it, and will they accomplish their mission? I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. Some of my reviews can also be found on instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Library overdrive Audiobook....read by: Christine Lakin, Jefferson Mays, Karissa Vacker, Maxwell Hamilton, Will Collyer, Zack Villa, Nicholas Guy Smith, Neil Dickson, Matthew Waterson, Moira Quirk, and Jim Mesklmen...... alternating with the ebook. All I knew before I started “Dragonfly”: was something I read on Facebook: “IT’S A MUCH BETTER BOOK THAN *The Nightingale*... Given that almost no one says anything even slightly negative about Kristin Hannah’s WWII novel ..... MY EARS PERKED UP! I wasn’t Library overdrive Audiobook....read by: Christine Lakin, Jefferson Mays, Karissa Vacker, Maxwell Hamilton, Will Collyer, Zack Villa, Nicholas Guy Smith, Neil Dickson, Matthew Waterson, Moira Quirk, and Jim Mesklmen...... alternating with the ebook. All I knew before I started “Dragonfly”: was something I read on Facebook: “IT’S A MUCH BETTER BOOK THAN *The Nightingale*... Given that almost no one says anything even slightly negative about Kristin Hannah’s WWII novel ..... MY EARS PERKED UP! I wasn’t a huge fan of ‘The Nightingale’....not ‘gaga’ over it anyway. Without knowing anything more ...I opened up my Overdrive App. on my iPhone ... and there it was, “Dragonfly”, by Leila Meacham: available as an audiobook. 🎧.... ITS FANTASTIC!!!! I’m dying to share details ....and my love for the characters, ( their stories, secrets, adventures, histories, sacrifices, secrets, and the clever- brilliance that was created in the first 20 chapters: (there are over 90 chapters). I’m also ‘bursting’ with excitement wanting to share about the ongoings.... GREAT STORYTELLING— ......but...my recommendation is: ***GO IN BLIND***!!!! It’s an easy risk-free choice. Goose bumps-wonderful! LITTLE TIP warning..... It’s ‘not easy’ remembering five characters names and what each of them are about- right from the start of a book.,,.let alone ‘15’ names. Not to worry ....it’s ACTUALLY EASY....without ANY NOTE TAKING. It’s VERY CREATIVE. Readers will feel smart in being able to retain it all. I PROMISE!!!!! TRUST YOUR EARS. Naturally, everything will stick. The author was brilliant in this part. I couldn’t help but wonder how many readers she had test her crafting to get feedback. Point is ... it works brilliantly!!! I love that the author trusted that we ( readers) could easily handle all the data she was tossing out rather quickly. I’m still quietly laughing .....because my old senior brain had a BLAST with the way the author ‘group-coded’ the names of the characters. Fantastic character development!!!! It made me love the ‘Dragonfly Team’ *more*!!! Plus...the beginning part of the book prepared me well to journey into ‘war’. (Nazi-horrors). I just can’t express enough how exceptional the character-crafting was in the beginning. Those who read the book already, know what I’m talking about. After the beginning.... things begin to explode. War is nasty - devastating- frightening- secretive- etc. I was right there with the team during their mission. This is my first book by Leila Meacham. She made reading about this WWII fresh.... ....frightening, sad and moving but without heavy emotional pain transferred to the reader. I loved it...love it...loved it!!!!!!! .....recommended it to all my friends....( artists, fly fishers, spies, WWII readers, midwesterners, Traverse City lovers, Oklahoma lovers, runners, French, German, English. American’s....and to everyone who loves a good old fashion suspenseful historical fiction novel). AWESOME DISCOVERY!!!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    Leila Meacham’s incredible World War 2 saga chronicles a fictional team of young Americans recruited as OSS agents to infiltrate German-occupied Paris. The team is code-named Dragonfly, and upon arrival in Paris, the group disperses and sets about to fulfill their individual missions while also pursing their own individual agendas. The genius of Dragonfly is Meacham’s ability to vividly portray German-occupied Paris and the treachery that constantly existed for those working to remove Hitler and Leila Meacham’s incredible World War 2 saga chronicles a fictional team of young Americans recruited as OSS agents to infiltrate German-occupied Paris. The team is code-named Dragonfly, and upon arrival in Paris, the group disperses and sets about to fulfill their individual missions while also pursing their own individual agendas. The genius of Dragonfly is Meacham’s ability to vividly portray German-occupied Paris and the treachery that constantly existed for those working to remove Hitler and the Nazis. Her novel frequently proves the maxim “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” as each agent must quickly and intelligently adjust to the challenges and unexpected issues that regularly arise. Clever, suspenseful, and character-driven, Dragonfly is a tour-de-force, and a fabulous addition to the genre. I highly, highly recommend it. Listen to my podcast at https://www.thoughtsfromapage.com for fun author interviews. For more book reviews, check out my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsfro....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    What a great book! I have goose bumps and a lump in my throat. Written lifelike, but without emphasis on all the atrocities that the Germans have carried out, so that the book remained legible. Exciting and interesting the whole way through.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Poignant, absorbing, and incredibly affecting! Dragonfly is an immersive, suspenseful tale set in Nazi-Occupied Paris during WWII that follows five young American spies as they use their own unique skillsets to infiltrate, befriend, and acquire special intelligence from the enemy to aid Resistance and Allied Forces. The prose is eloquent and polished. The characters are driven, courageous, and resilient. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a sweeping saga of life, Poignant, absorbing, and incredibly affecting! Dragonfly is an immersive, suspenseful tale set in Nazi-Occupied Paris during WWII that follows five young American spies as they use their own unique skillsets to infiltrate, befriend, and acquire special intelligence from the enemy to aid Resistance and Allied Forces. The prose is eloquent and polished. The characters are driven, courageous, and resilient. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a sweeping saga of life, loss, family, self-discovery, heartbreak, betrayal, determination, isolation, survival, tragedy, and friendship. Overall, Dragonfly is an evocative, rich, beautifully written novel by Meacham that grabs you from the very first page, and is sure to be a big hit with book clubs and historical fiction fans everywhere. I absolutely devoured it, and it is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year! Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Two and a half stars. I loved Leila Meacham's historical fiction books set in Texas but I just couldn't get into her latest, DRAGONFLY (I seem to be in the minority, though). Meacham's latest is set in WWII Nazi-occupied Paris and centers on an OSS spy team codenamed Dragonfly. Made of five members, Dragonfly provides valuable intel for the Allies. My first issue with this book was the sheer number of characters, names, and constantly bouncing around, not just in chapters but even within a same c Two and a half stars. I loved Leila Meacham's historical fiction books set in Texas but I just couldn't get into her latest, DRAGONFLY (I seem to be in the minority, though). Meacham's latest is set in WWII Nazi-occupied Paris and centers on an OSS spy team codenamed Dragonfly. Made of five members, Dragonfly provides valuable intel for the Allies. My first issue with this book was the sheer number of characters, names, and constantly bouncing around, not just in chapters but even within a same chapter. The five main characters each have their given name, their alias name, and their code name (and sometimes, even, nicknames). Even after 550 pages, I couldn't keep them all straight. Adding to the confusion are the many secondary characters. My second issue is that there wasn't much of a plot. They are a spy circle sent to collect intel. There's not much driving the plot except that. There also seemed to be a lot of telling and wanted to tell Meacham, "Show, don't tell!" It's also much too long and anticlimactic. I'm sorry for this somewhat negative review because I love Meacham and even heard her talk about this book at an author event. I just couldn't get involved in it or emotionally connect to any of the characters.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    The German's have overtaken Paris, transforming it into a Nazi stronghold. Here in the US, five young Americans have been carefully vetted and selected for a secret mission in France. If they choose to go, they will be risking their lives to provide important to intelligence to the war effort. For each of them they have their own reasons for accepting the assignment. So begins a harrowing and dangerous journey for each of the young patriots as they gather critical information from their targets, The German's have overtaken Paris, transforming it into a Nazi stronghold. Here in the US, five young Americans have been carefully vetted and selected for a secret mission in France. If they choose to go, they will be risking their lives to provide important to intelligence to the war effort. For each of them they have their own reasons for accepting the assignment. So begins a harrowing and dangerous journey for each of the young patriots as they gather critical information from their targets, placing their own lives at great risk. I felt as if I was walking the streets with the characters, concerned for their safety and hoping for their success. Leila Meacham has written another well developed story with strong characters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach

    I loved this book. Historical fiction is not the type of book I am usually drawn to, but I really enjoyed Roses, so I thought I'd give Dragonfly a try. I'm so glad I did. Great characters, great story, loved the ending. I was worried that all the different POV's would get confusing, but the author did a really good job reminding you of who each character was within the first sentence or two of each chapter. Really, really enjoyed this book! I loved this book. Historical fiction is not the type of book I am usually drawn to, but I really enjoyed Roses, so I thought I'd give Dragonfly a try. I'm so glad I did. Great characters, great story, loved the ending. I was worried that all the different POV's would get confusing, but the author did a really good job reminding you of who each character was within the first sentence or two of each chapter. Really, really enjoyed this book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    World War II is in full throttle and five young Americans are chosen to work with the OSS. They will be fighting for their country and serving in France. Not only do they not know one another at the outset, their families cannot not know that they will soon become spies. They are code-named Dragonfly, and are each given false identities. They take on their assignments, albeit separately. However, they have an agreed upon rendezvous location when information must be shared. They are always aware o World War II is in full throttle and five young Americans are chosen to work with the OSS. They will be fighting for their country and serving in France. Not only do they not know one another at the outset, their families cannot not know that they will soon become spies. They are code-named Dragonfly, and are each given false identities. They take on their assignments, albeit separately. However, they have an agreed upon rendezvous location when information must be shared. They are always aware of the extreme danger facing them. By this time, Hitler's armies have invaded Paris and the city has been turned upside down. In immediate succession, a series of tragic and dramatic events surround the young people, as well as countless innocent victims. Things take a horrid turn, however, when one of the team is captured and faces the firing squad. I was reading the massive large-print book, and I literally dropped it when reading. I am almost at a loss as to what to state further. Hitler's crimes are known far and wide. Reading about myriads of people losing their lives was difficult, as can be imagined. Reading about how countries, like America, employed people strictly to save lives was actually quite rewarding to read. I will say that this book kept me rapidly turning pages, and I read it in one day, in just two sittings. I gasped, cried and then celebrated when reaching the conclusion. One of the drawing factors to this book was each individual story. I felt drawn to each young person, whether it was their backstory or where they ended up once the war was over. Dragonfly is historical fiction at its very best. History has proved quite true and realistic when it came to reading this book. I can only imagine the hours and hours of intense research Leila Meacham spent while composing this book. Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    This book was so poorly done that I struggled to write a review to encapsulate HOW MUCH was wrong with it. I’ll just pick a few - of the many - big takeaways of why this book is exceptionally awful and completely senseless. First, it’s story about WWII. Or rather WWII-lite. A WWII where there’s no hunger, no death, no Jews, no destruction. A WWII where all the Nazi SS Top Brass are super nice guys trying to secretly help the Allies. A story about 5 young fabulous looking (of course!) spies who a This book was so poorly done that I struggled to write a review to encapsulate HOW MUCH was wrong with it. I’ll just pick a few - of the many - big takeaways of why this book is exceptionally awful and completely senseless. First, it’s story about WWII. Or rather WWII-lite. A WWII where there’s no hunger, no death, no Jews, no destruction. A WWII where all the Nazi SS Top Brass are super nice guys trying to secretly help the Allies. A story about 5 young fabulous looking (of course!) spies who are the worst spies ever (they ‘happen’ to run into each other on a busy street that just happens to be totally deserted except for ALL 5 of ‘buddy spies’. So what do you do as Americans posing as French men and women in Nazi occupied France when you run into people in your spy cell? That’s easy, you start hugging each other and speaking ENGLISH!!! 🙄 Of course there was one person in the street, a blind beggar (oh my, who’s have ever guessed he could be...wait for it...a collaborator). As the bigwig American spymaster running the cell continues to say, these kids are some of the best spies we ever had’. Hahahaha. Me thinks not! If these were the Allies best and brightest, Hitler would’ve won the war! They all make numerous and ridiculous (big) ‘mistakes’, but lucky them, the evil Nazi’s they’re supposed to be secretly gathering intel from happen to ‘by chance’ be good guys who help them. There’s a scene where a very high up the chain Nazi SS Officer-who just happens to be aristocratic, gorgeous looking and a real gentleman-fakes the death of the beautiful American female ‘spy’ he’s in love with by having her publicly shot in front of many SS by firing squad. After all the bullets she slumps to the ground and they take her away, dead BUT (oh surprise!) she lives, she’s 100% fine, not so much as a boo-boo (except for the great make up job she got before being shot to make it look like she’d been beaten up). Here’s the kicker...they never tell us HOW she was shot in public by a firing squad, no less, and doesn’t have a scratch-and all the SS who came specifically to watch to make sure she died, don’t notice she’s not bullet riddled, bloodied, and dead? Another zinger...many years later all living back in the US since the end of the war, the spy buddies wonder if their female spy friend was actually killed, they think she’s possibly still alive. Somehow, these ‘spies’ and their ‘acclaimed spymaster’ can’t find a young woman living openly in NYC-the very place she was recruited from. They can’t reach out to her family? The spymaster did loads of research to pluck these young people from obscurity because they spoke French and German etc, but for 20 years postwar he can’t find this woman from an elite, wealthy family. A woman not in hiding, living in NYC (who happens to be looking for them too). The big mystery to them is if she’s alive or dead. As I said, worst spies ever!! The inanity goes on and on and on. The writing itself is pedestrian, but that’s secondary to this ridiculously ridiculous story that has so many ‘lucky coincidences’ to push the story in the direction the writer was aiming for that it’s beyond unbelievable. I spent half the book cringing. It also reminded me of the Breakfast Club with its own version of ‘the jock’, ‘the popular girl’, ‘the loner’ etc.... The Breakfast Club: Spy Kids. Cringe! One dimensional characters in a one dimensional story. I’m seriously bowled over by the reviews. Floored. This story is pure WWII-lite utter rubbish. Please save yourself the trouble of a DNF....something I wish to heavens I had done. There are way too many good books out there to waste your time on this drivel. HARD PASS!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kerrin P

    Dragonfly by Leila Meacham is a World War II espionage story about five young Americans who are sent on missions in occupied Paris for the Office of Strategic Services. They are recruited by Alistair Renault, an OSS case officer, chief of station for French Affairs. The three men and two women are all fluent speakers of French and/or German and each has special skills necessary for a specific assignment. The recruits train together even though they will be on their own in Paris. They become insta Dragonfly by Leila Meacham is a World War II espionage story about five young Americans who are sent on missions in occupied Paris for the Office of Strategic Services. They are recruited by Alistair Renault, an OSS case officer, chief of station for French Affairs. The three men and two women are all fluent speakers of French and/or German and each has special skills necessary for a specific assignment. The recruits train together even though they will be on their own in Paris. They become instantly bonded. They chose the team name Dragonfly since dragonflies are natural escape artists and good at calculating the best way to catch their prey. The team agrees to meet each other in New York on the first September 23rd after the war and again in Paris, 20 years later. In the first chapter, we learn that four of the five make it home after the war. Once the team arrives in Paris, things immediately start to go astray. There is tension throughout the book about the safety of each member, especially those in close contact with high ranking German officers. Even knowing their compromised situations each operative of Dragonfly wants to stay and continue the fight. My favorite characters are the ones who reveal that not all Germans supported Hilter. They were decent people who felt betrayed by the Nazi party and did what they could to covertly help the Allies. There is a large cast of characters. The Dragonfly team has their birth names, code names, and names to be used in their French employment. One member also has a nickname. Fortunately, the front of the book contains a list of these. I found myself referring back to it numerous times. 5-Stars. Book Club Recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Thank you so much to Grand Central Publishing, LSBBT, and the author for providing me with a final copy in exchange for an honest review.   From the moment I saw that stunning cover art, I knew I was a goner. I felt the lure of the Parisian setting, the ominous skyline, and that woman I somehow knew had an enthralling yet clandestine story to share. And before I was even aware, I had fallen directly into DRAGONFLY's trap; unable to escape its grasp until I turned the final page. "They're almost im Thank you so much to Grand Central Publishing, LSBBT, and the author for providing me with a final copy in exchange for an honest review.   From the moment I saw that stunning cover art, I knew I was a goner. I felt the lure of the Parisian setting, the ominous skyline, and that woman I somehow knew had an enthralling yet clandestine story to share. And before I was even aware, I had fallen directly into DRAGONFLY's trap; unable to escape its grasp until I turned the final page. "They're almost impossible to snare and have no blind spots...natural escape artists." Opening in 1962, DRAGONFLY quickly introduces readers to "the man in brown," a retired military officer who's recently finished reading an anthology devoted to the greatest ruses of WWII that concluded with a rather familiar mission. But the mention of this covert affair is not watch captures the Major's attention, but rather its reveal that the executed agent was actually (and secretly) alive and well. Doubting the validity of this statement, but unable to completely douse the hope it ignites, the officer begins to ferret out information and starts the story from the beginning. Told in multiple -- and alternating -- POVs, this historical fiction novel adopts a formulaic, yet engaging, method of delivery for its important information. From introductions to our cast of Americans (five, 22-year-old individuals who for differing reasons all find themselves in need of employment) to their personal motives for deployment to occupied Paris, Meacham weaves their varied plots into one cohesive story. This quintet-style of layering continues throughout the novel allowing for readers to experience the emotional journey fivefold. "The flesh would fill out, the scars fade, the heart be restored, but the mind would remember...always." What captured my interest and left me reeling was Meacham's ability to trigger countless emotions through her lyrical descriptions of an occupied society at war. Her vivid descriptions transported me to the tense-filled streets of Paris and made me feel every ounce of the paranoia and self-preservation citizens possessed during such a turbulent time in our world history. She made me feel shame for the prejudice German characters faced Stateside, fear for the person that might be turned over to the Gestapo by a starved neighbor hoping to trade secrets for scraps of food, and absolute terror at the atrocities conducted against Jews and any individual that dared to disagree with the Third Reich. "To go forward...sometimes you have to go back."  I think this fictitious tale of espionage was particularly powerful because of its parallels to our current social and political climate. It was jarring to read about events that took place more than 75 years ago that still felt relevant in today's modern times. And while that could feel bleak, I personally found it to be eye-opening and capable of sparking necessary discourse and understanding. While speaking with a trusted mentor about this very subject, I realized it wasn't the relatable issues that got under my skin as much as Meacham's ability to display the humanity in the inhumane. It takes an incredible skill to make you feel for "evil" characters, and this book does that better than most. Meacham eloquently crafts characters that were real, raw, and flawed and it's why they'll live on in my memory long after this novel has been placed back on the shelves. It's hard to describe, and something I think needs to be experienced personally, so I hope you consider giving DRAGONFLY a chance. Obviously this novel is steeped in dark and hard-hitting issues, but please don't interpret that to mean this wasn't an inspiring and touching story. I was smiling (albeit with some tears) by the end, and I'm thankful I was able to experience such a memorable journey with this heroic squad.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars on this one. It bothered me slightly that the story was so far fetched and was pretty historically inaccurate. However Meacham tells a good story. The novel follows 5 young adults (3 men and 2 women) who join the Office of Strategic Service (OSS). They train to become spies and then are planted in Paris during WWII. Each makes the decision to join based on various personal reasons. One young woman, Victoria joins in hopes of locating her fallen RAF pilo I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars on this one. It bothered me slightly that the story was so far fetched and was pretty historically inaccurate. However Meacham tells a good story. The novel follows 5 young adults (3 men and 2 women) who join the Office of Strategic Service (OSS). They train to become spies and then are planted in Paris during WWII. Each makes the decision to join based on various personal reasons. One young woman, Victoria joins in hopes of locating her fallen RAF pilot fiance, another joins to try and locate his french Father. Each has a cover story and target for gathering intel which then is relayed to the allies. As you can probably guess, their personal reasons for joining and their close friendship with one another eventually put them in danger and almost compromise the mission. Each makes stupid mistakes that I found hard to believe, especially if they received such "rigorous" spy training. I couldn't decide if they were the worst spies ever or if Meacham just was not adept at writing a spy novel. Both is probably the answer. Even with blatant plot holes, the premise of the story was good. Even though I found myself commenting on certain aspects and events in the book I did enjoy reading it. Meacham did a great job telling the story. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy, just be ready to suspend belief for a little while.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    WWII– 5 young Americans selected by the OSS for their special attributes are sent into Occupied France. One of the most intricately plotted spy thrillers you are going to read. 101 Chapters / 559 Pages made into an easy read due to the deft, clever writing of the author. Apart from each character’s given name there are French names; German names; code names; nick-names. Confusing? No. There is a character list at the beginning of the book but the writing is good enough that you likely won’t need t WWII– 5 young Americans selected by the OSS for their special attributes are sent into Occupied France. One of the most intricately plotted spy thrillers you are going to read. 101 Chapters / 559 Pages made into an easy read due to the deft, clever writing of the author. Apart from each character’s given name there are French names; German names; code names; nick-names. Confusing? No. There is a character list at the beginning of the book but the writing is good enough that you likely won’t need the list. Inside this arduous plot the author never missed a beat in making clear at every turn who was who – never allowing the reader to have to wonder about which character was where and doing what. The ending is goose-bump worthy. This is right up there with the best historical fiction (spy) novels for me this year!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    I will probably not do this review justice but I'll tell you right off the bat I LOVED this book and could not put it down.  The intrigue, the danger, the interwoven storylines....all of this make Dragonfly one of the best books I have read all year. "One loose thread can unravel the whole ball of twine." Truer words were never spoken when it comes to this book.  This book follows five spies for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, a real government agency during WWII in case you didn't know) an I will probably not do this review justice but I'll tell you right off the bat I LOVED this book and could not put it down.  The intrigue, the danger, the interwoven storylines....all of this make Dragonfly one of the best books I have read all year. "One loose thread can unravel the whole ball of twine." Truer words were never spoken when it comes to this book.  This book follows five spies for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, a real government agency during WWII in case you didn't know) and their various missions in Paris to seek information about the Germans and help end this war sooner rather than later.  While they know all five will be there, where the drop box is located to pass along information, and the mural for coded messages, they do not know each other's cover names, stories, or missions.  Yet, as this story progresses their missions become intertwined and it is just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose! This story kept me up many late nights because I could not put the book down!  I felt my breath catching and my heart skipping a beat as I followed these five spies across Paris serving their country but also for some personal reasons.  The story starts out as we are introduced to the six main characters - the five spies and their handler.  The book opens in 1962 which is approximately 20 years after they are recruited and it is about time for a reunion that they planned before they set off to Paris.  There are actually two reunions, one more immediate after the war and then this one twenty years later.  As the last reunion is about to commence, Alistar (the handler) discovers a book that tells the story of their mission, Dragonfly.  This starts a journey for the author and his source and brings back many memories of the war and how the situations played out for everyone. "On into late fall and throughout the rest of the year, Dragonfly hovered close to waters teeming with an increasingly frantic enemy." This line reflects the pace of the book for me.  Most of it was quick but there were times where the story played out in a calmer fashion.  Having both types of situations made the story that much more appealing to me.  I watched one of the characters mourn for the loss of someone close to her, another rejoice in finding family, and all of them learn something about themselves that they probably never would have expected - the fortitude to continue despite the circumstances or situations.  It also reflected the mindset of some of the Germans in Paris and what they truly thought about Hitler and what was coming down the pike regarding the war. I found the story well crafted and for the author to be able to intersect the missions of the various characters was genius.  There is so much more that could have been written about the war and potentially even expanded the missions of the characters, but it was wrapped up quite nicely and I found myself shedding a few tears at the end.  So be prepared and have a tissue on hand. If I could give this book more than 5 paws I would in a heartbeat.  If you love historical fiction you will want to pick up this book and read it soon.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This is my first reading of this author's work. It was a new library book available, I'm usually interested in World War II fiction, so I checked it out. Summary Notes: This is a long book (561 pp) peopled with many and varied characters tracked over a good chunk of time. This is also a story woven in such a way to yield emotional responses rather than depicting horrors of war. Instead, we get Nazis who were humans and sometimes plotting against Hitler or trying to extricate themselves from his m This is my first reading of this author's work. It was a new library book available, I'm usually interested in World War II fiction, so I checked it out. Summary Notes: This is a long book (561 pp) peopled with many and varied characters tracked over a good chunk of time. This is also a story woven in such a way to yield emotional responses rather than depicting horrors of war. Instead, we get Nazis who were humans and sometimes plotting against Hitler or trying to extricate themselves from his machine, hoping to save Germany. Some of the worst acts seem to be carried out by snitches looking to profit by reporting information to the Gestapo. The occupation of France by Germany prior to America entering the conflict is the main period of time for the action. A group of five young people are recruited by American intelligence for language skills for the most part. They are chosen carefully, trained well and placed in several positions where they can fit in. Part of their indoctrination requires that none of them are to ever know the true identity of the others, where they grew up, addresses or anything personal since that information could be easily tortured out of them by German tactics. Will they all survive? The book begins with a question whether one of the five was shot as publicized -- or not. Events are recounted covering all five individuals in a most thorough way. Since they were not allowed to share their identity it was planned that they would meet on a certain date in a certain place. Yes, a somewhat familiar theme and it does pull on the heartstrings.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    A solid 3.5 stars. It was a great story. There were a lot of moving pieces that were a bit hard to keep track of, although the author did provide a who's who in the front of the book. I was a bit disappointed that the author didn't include a section of where she got her inspiration or research. A solid 3.5 stars. It was a great story. There were a lot of moving pieces that were a bit hard to keep track of, although the author did provide a who's who in the front of the book. I was a bit disappointed that the author didn't include a section of where she got her inspiration or research.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    What a fabulous tale! In scope & feel like a grand Rosamunde Pilcher story. Drama, espionage, patriotism, poignancy, a bit of romance. This book has it all! Loved it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    This was just way to over the top for me. Five American agents are trained and sent to France at the same time? All sharing the same radio operator? The OSS did work not work that way. They barely let one agent into France at a time let alone five in a week,all in Paris. The Germans and Nazi's and some of the French the agents get to know are all wondering about them but let go about life in Paris as they watch? Uh no the Nazi's would be arresting you before the cafe's opened. This book was just to This was just way to over the top for me. Five American agents are trained and sent to France at the same time? All sharing the same radio operator? The OSS did work not work that way. They barely let one agent into France at a time let alone five in a week,all in Paris. The Germans and Nazi's and some of the French the agents get to know are all wondering about them but let go about life in Paris as they watch? Uh no the Nazi's would be arresting you before the cafe's opened. This book was just to hard to believe and some of the little mistakes these agents made just added up to one word failure. Their are better and more interesting WW2 novels to read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Ruff

    It took me a while to read this book! All 500 plus pages of ir! I enjoyed every page every story! This is a book to savor! My first book ever by Leila meachem and it won’t be my last. I was draw in by the beautiful cover and fell in love with the great story! I will remember the characters in this story for a long time!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharlene

    This book is so good. Very moving account of 5 young Americans assigned to Nazi Paris as spies. I could not put this book down and will be added to my favorite's list of war historical fiction. I have loved this author's previous books and this one did not disappoint. This book is so good. Very moving account of 5 young Americans assigned to Nazi Paris as spies. I could not put this book down and will be added to my favorite's list of war historical fiction. I have loved this author's previous books and this one did not disappoint.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Enjoyed the book. I couldn't keep the 3 guys straight with them having 3 names. No problem with the girls though. Enjoyed the book. I couldn't keep the 3 guys straight with them having 3 names. No problem with the girls though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie Jones

    "No one completes their missions with clean consciences. Dirty dealing is part of the job." Dragonfly by Leila Meacham is a literary gem that must not be missed. The writing, the storytelling, the characters, and the plot are all deeply exquisite and will remain with you for a long time. The five young Americans operating under the code name Dragonfly have willingly chosen to live and work in occupied Paris as spies to help thwart the dastardly efforts of Hitler and his evil regime. These five agen "No one completes their missions with clean consciences. Dirty dealing is part of the job." Dragonfly by Leila Meacham is a literary gem that must not be missed. The writing, the storytelling, the characters, and the plot are all deeply exquisite and will remain with you for a long time. The five young Americans operating under the code name Dragonfly have willingly chosen to live and work in occupied Paris as spies to help thwart the dastardly efforts of Hitler and his evil regime. These five agents have been trained and given code names, and they know next to nothing about each other for safety reasons. Yet the bond they form during their training is unbreakable and timeless and absolutely beautiful. These characters often seem too good to be true, too perfect perhaps, yet that works well here because their wholesomeness and kindness are brilliantly juxtaposed with the horrors of war and the despicable actions of the Nazis and others claiming loyalty to Hitler. That contrast strengthens the idea that good really does eventually prevail and rise from the ashes of hate and misery. The three men and two women that form Dragonfly are tasked with pulling off a feat that involves cunning, courage, subterfuge, an ingenious way to communicate with each other, and the willingness to choose death rather than betray their country, the members of Dragonfly, or the man who handpicked them for this mission, Alistair Renault. The reader knows from the beginning that one of the five is executed, but which one and why? What really happened that day when three of the other four witnessed the apparent fall of one of their own? There is more here than meets the eye, and the story that unfolds across the many chapters is a journey like no other. The characters are beguiling as the author brings them to life and makes you care about them and about several other characters orbiting around them. As the five become entrenched in their separate yet somewhat linked missions, the inevitable fate of their best laid plans starts to appear.  "Gradually, the cards begin to fall." And when that house of cards begins to crumble for Dragonfly, the danger and the action become almost too overwhelming, yet closing the book is not an option until that final chapter is devoured. Yes, Dragonfly is lengthy, but the story never feels too slow or even too long. The characterization drives this literary masterpiece, and the author weaves a tapestry of words that will pull you in, fully capture your heart and imagination, and then take your breath away. Historical fiction bookshelves are filled with war stories about spies and espionage and daring escapades, and Dragonfly has all of that and more. But this story is a bit different in that while WWII is the main backdrop, the overall focus here is more on relationships, betrayal, unlikely allegiances, and hope. These young agents are engaged in a covert and treacherous battle for secrets and survival, and trust is a luxury that they can ill afford. But what if trust is the only thing that can save them? You seriously do not want to miss this one!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Young

    Once I received the audio for DRAGONFLY and started listening, I forgot everything I was doing. All I knew was the DRAGONFLY world. I was hooked until the end. After I finished, I had a serious book hangover. I love big epic books. Especially when they involve life and death stories about both men and women in dire situations. Leila Meacham specializes in such epics, but let me be clear: this is the best book Leila Meacham has ever written. And the DRAGONFLY audio is five star. DRAGONFLY is what Once I received the audio for DRAGONFLY and started listening, I forgot everything I was doing. All I knew was the DRAGONFLY world. I was hooked until the end. After I finished, I had a serious book hangover. I love big epic books. Especially when they involve life and death stories about both men and women in dire situations. Leila Meacham specializes in such epics, but let me be clear: this is the best book Leila Meacham has ever written. And the DRAGONFLY audio is five star. DRAGONFLY is what happens when a spymaster recruits two women and three men, with a diversity of talent and a mastery of language, to be dropped into occupied Paris on a top secret mission. Naturally, it is also about the occupiers. And it is about the one member who doesn't return. Who is it? That's the burning question, even as I was lost in the deftly built world. Surely not this one? Nor this one? I'm thankful that Hachette Audio invested in multiple narrators for this book. They each added so much to the story with their true reads of each character, as they went through the difficulties and horrors of being Americans in a country occupied by a country whose leaders were cold hearted killers. They also brought life to the Germans involved and I enjoyed hearing their sides as well. CAVEAT: Yes, there are a good many names, even nicknames, and backstories to learn. Also, being spies, the characters have spy names. It's worth it to work a little hard to get them straight in your mind (and also pretty good for you). If you whisper-sync the Kindle version (which also saves you money on the audio), you can keep those names straight. Kudos to Ms. Meacham, the publisher, the narrators, and the audio direction / publishing team. Thank you for a copy of this audio in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    This novel has given me a wonderful book hangover!!! 864 pages...multiple POV, a mural that works as its on character and beautiful prose. Leilia Meacham is one of the best story tellers out there. I have loved every book she has written. Her novels are books i read slowly because i dont want to miss a single word. I.loved this novel so.much and it will stay one of my favorites for years to come!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mechele Clough

    This book was fantastic! The character development was superb and in-depth, but not overwhelming. I was captivated throughout the book. I was right there with the characters while they completed their missions. I even began to care for unlikely characters. She painted a very accurate picture of german occupied France and the ugliness of war without being gruesome. I experienced so many emotions throughout this book. This is a new favorite of mine.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caryl

    Dragonfly is a compelling story of a covert team in occupied France. I was immediately immersed into the story. The danger and intrigue kept me turning the pages. I highly recommend this book. I borrowed a copy from my local library. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the story of 5 Americans who were in Paris as spies during WW2. It is a really good book but it is long. There is a helpful guide in the front of the book giving you the names of the characters along with their field names. The first part of the book gives you the backgrounds and motivations for each character. The bulk of the story is set in France and at times there is so much detail that the story gets bogged down. I’m glad I read it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Meagan

    Brilliantly concocted, Leila Meacham’s newest novel, Dragonfly, is like no other WWII novel you will read. Written with creativity and deeply developed characters that instantly hook the reader, Dragonfly presents an entirely different perspective on espionage during the Era of Evil. An extraordinarily gifted Meacham takes the reader on a tale of six Americans operating as spies in occupied France’s when their mishaps, obvious flaws and seemingly selfish ambition all collide to create a fascinat Brilliantly concocted, Leila Meacham’s newest novel, Dragonfly, is like no other WWII novel you will read. Written with creativity and deeply developed characters that instantly hook the reader, Dragonfly presents an entirely different perspective on espionage during the Era of Evil. An extraordinarily gifted Meacham takes the reader on a tale of six Americans operating as spies in occupied France’s when their mishaps, obvious flaws and seemingly selfish ambition all collide to create a fascinating tale of survival and friendship, alongside a reminder that not everything is always as it seems—even if it seems obvious. Dragonfly’s softened picture of occupied France reveals a striking contrast to many other WWII historical fiction novels I’ve read. Novels such as The Nightingale, Lilac Girls, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, The French War Bride, Secrets of a Charmed Life, and many more, each have a similar tone of destitution within Nazi occupied countries while Dragonfly focuses less on the harsh state of occupied France and more on the inner workings of organizations, including good masked as evil, doing what they can to dismantle Hitler and his followers. As a history lover and someone who is continuously learning, Meacham does an incredible job at historically documenting the specific characters within the novel. While at times I grew confused with all of the moving parts of the novel, Meacham provides a detailed list of characters at the beginning of the novel. Despite it’s moments that seemed possibly unrealistic, I couldn’t put it down as I believed that even in the unrealistic moments, it was Meacham’s creative spin with those “that was too easy” moments, that made this book a page turner. There was always more than what it seemed. Leila Meacham is an incredible storyteller. When you’re finished with Dragonfly, do yourself a favor and pick up Roses and Somerset, then prepare to not come back to reality for the rest of summer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexis (hookedtobooks)

    Thank you @grandcentralpub for sending me a copy of this book! It was such a fun read! - This book centres around 5 Americans who go to Paris during the Second World War as spies in order to help bring victory to the Allies! Each of these five people have their own reasons for wanting to go to Paris during war time, and each member of Dragonfly, their groups code name, makes enormous contributions to the war effort through the connections they make while under cover! - I really appreciated the time Thank you @grandcentralpub for sending me a copy of this book! It was such a fun read! - This book centres around 5 Americans who go to Paris during the Second World War as spies in order to help bring victory to the Allies! Each of these five people have their own reasons for wanting to go to Paris during war time, and each member of Dragonfly, their groups code name, makes enormous contributions to the war effort through the connections they make while under cover! - I really appreciated the time the author took to get the reader acquainted with the 5 main characters, and their leader: the man in brown! I felt that by the time they were in Paris and undercover, I was already connected to them and rooting for their success! And the author did not spend a large amount on each character, but just enough! I also thought it was fun to learn about their code names, and how they communicated with each other! The twists and turns are really fun, and I definitely recommend if you’re a fan of World War Two historical fiction! There seems to be a lot of books set during this time period, but I am not complaining! I’m loving it!

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