Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shrabani Basu ~Spy Princess~

Read: On Kindle
Paid: 99p
Reason I choose it: When I worked with the 7-8 year olds I started just after they learnt about Noor Inyat Khan so I was curious to know who she was. I kind of forgot until just before Christmas and decided to look up a book for her and this author came up.
This book is a true story about a British Secret Agent for SOE during WW2. It begins with Noors dad and his introducing the Islamic belief of Sufism in to the Europeans and Americans lives through his music.Noor is born in Russia, lives a little in England and eventually ends up in France. You learn about Noors Childhood surrounded by people dedicating their lives to Sufism and then in her teenage years they flee France for England where she gets a job in a Morse code center. Due to her speed and her multi lingual skills she is watched carefully and then eventually offered a job as a secret agent in France which she takes and travels over despite a few obstacles along the way.....
My Opinion
My only problem with the book is the fact that the author was infatuated with Noors dad and Noors supposed great great great great..... grand-dad Tippu Sultan. By the way its actually how the author writes the great which after a while really irritates me. I really hated the dad and would rather have not read about him but then again it gave a little more insight as to what Noor faced on a daily basis. The author was not all that infatuated with Noor as she went on to call her childish etc... which I found a bit odd as she didn't actually know her personally despite having spoken to her family.
People like Noor's dad still exist today and are known as a Pir. They make out they have special abilities to cure illnesses, re-arrange lives etc... and people believe every word they say. People as well as giving their whole selves they  also offer expensive gifts and other things which they take willingly... In Noors dad case people were raising his family by giving them money and even buying a house which Noor and her brother at one point thought it was ok to go to a lady to ask for money for a ticket to India for Noor. Noors dad one day decided he had to go to India and never once thought twice about how his wife would cope with 4 children etc... he went and died a couple of days later. Noors mum an already pathetic women turned out to be completely useless to her children after that by taking to the bed leaving 13 year old Noor to take care of things.
Once the dad died I enjoyed the story of Noor a lot more even though at times it was quite long winded but with not knowing about a lot of the things mentioned I did appreciate the detailed explanations too. I found it all really interesting and quite shocking at times but justice was done in Noors and a few other ladies deaths at the end.
I think that this book didn't do Noors life justice for what she went though and I am surprised that it hasn't been made in to a film.
Oh! I wrote it begins with Noors dad, it actually begins with the last chapter that Noor was in which was her death. I hadn't realised Noor had died so it really upset me when reading how much potential she had in her life and made me so curious to know what she would have done after the war... the fact she could have lived also made it all that much harder to digest the circumstances.
My Rating
Despite me not liking this version 100% I will still be giving it all my strawberries as Noors war time experiences and life is worth reading.
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I hope that you will read it and let me know what you think. The other WW2 story I'd really recommend is The Blue Suitcase By Marianne Wheelaghan. Both of these books have lived with me long after I've read them and I hope I will never ever have to experience a war as I would not be able to do what both of these ladies did.  


  1. thanks for another great honest review it helps in deciding what to read

  2. You may feel differently about the book but I do think as I mentioned that Noors story is worth reading. I probably cried at some points too.


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