Trapeze by Simon Mawer
Titled The Girl Who Fell From the Sky in the author's native England, Trapeze is the World War II story of a young woman whose skill with languages and thirst for adventure lead to her being sent into occupied Europe as a special operative. Mawer's 2009 novel The Glass House was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Reviewer: Rachel Cooke
"I read late into the night and cried a little when I was done. Mawer's wartime textures are extraordinary, and no page ever reeks of the library; his set pieces are so beautiful you want to read them two or three times over."
Reviewer: Daisy Dunn
"Mawer is a masterful storyteller. He knows exactly when to quicken the pace, exactly when to suspend the critical moment....But elements of the story remain shadowy....Gripping and moving in equal measure, his story, Marian’s story, is unforgettable."
Reviewer: Wendy Smith
"...don’t dismiss “Trapeze” as a highbrow’s lunge for the commercial brass ring. Although narrower in scope than Mawer’s earlier work, it is no less rich and provocative. And in Marian he has created a marvelous heroine, called by circumstance to a life she was born for."
Reviewer: Simon Schama
"The plot is what it is. In truth: not a whole lot. But you won’t care because pretty much everything else about the book is so winning."
Reviewer: Philip Womack
"Mawer’s book is slick and thrilling and grown-up, like a slightly seedy uncle who smokes, drinks whisky and is always off seeing a man about a dog. Like that uncle, it’s also ephemeral and marginally unsatisfying: but don’t let that get in the way of what is an absorbing novel full of treachery, twilight and terror."
Reviewer: Jan Stuart
"Spiky banter and character shadings enhance what is, in the end, a collection of road- tested war-thriller gestures. They whoosh by at such velocity that you might not mind, even as you’re left dangling at the denouement in cliffhanger purgatory, waiting for the sequel."
Reviewer: Catherine Taylor
"Mawer pays tribute by mixing up names and genuine incidents to create a persuasive, exhilarating thriller."
Reviewer: Lucasta Miller
"...it does not, unlike The Glass Room, aspire beyond itself. It reads as though Mawer has been urged by his publisher to write for a more commercial audience. He does it well, but it does leave one hankering for more."