Skip to main content


About the Book


Barely out of school and doing her bit for the war effort, Marian Sutro has one quality that marks her out—she is a native French speaker. It is this that attracts the attention of the SOE, the Special Operations Executive, which trains agents to operate in occupied Europe. Drawn into this strange, secret world at the age of 19, she finds herself undergoing commando training, attending a “school for spies,” and ultimately, one autumn night, parachuting into France from an RAF bomber to join the WORDSMITH resistance network.

But there’s more to Marian’s mission than meets the eye of her SOE controllers, for her mission has been high-jacked by another secret organization that wants her to go to Paris and persuade a friend from before the war—a research physicist—to join the Allied war effort. The outcome might affect the whole course of the war.

A fascinating blend of fact and fiction, Trapeze is both an old-fashioned adventure story and a modern exploration of a young woman’s growth into adulthood. There is violence and there is love. There are death and betrayal, deception and revelation. But above all there is Marian Sutro, an ordinary young woman who, like her real-life counterparts in SOE, did the most extraordinary things at a time when the ordinary was not enough.

by Simon Mawer

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press
  • ISBN-10: 1590515277
  • ISBN-13: 9781590515273