Set against the backdrops of France and England during the Second World War, Jack and Francine tells the true story of Jack Agazarian and Francine André, and of the tragic fate that awaited them.
Separated from the love of her life when the French and British governments declared war on Germany in September 1939, Francine risked everything to reach Jack in England. Following one failed attempt to leave her homeland, climbing through the treacherous mountain paths of the Pyrenees before being turned back at the Spanish border, she managed to secure a sea passage. It was a dangerous, frightening voyage in a tiny fishing boat, but this time she was successful and eventually reached England. After a separation that had lasted for two long years, she and Jack were able to marry. But, before long, both were recruited by the French section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the organization set up by Winston Churchill to infiltrate secret agents into enemy occupied territories. Soon they were on their way back to France to work together, Francine as a courier and Jack, a wireless operator, for the important Physician/Prosper circuit in Paris; the most dangerous city in the country.
Francine’s health had begun to suffer from the relentless courier work with its constant danger of discovery and arrest, and Jack had taken the huge security risk of handling messages for no less than 22 different agents, when they narrowly escaped capture. Returning to England they learnt, a few weeks later, that their circuit had been penetrated and most of its members arrested. Although still on leave, Jack was sent back to France to help discover what had happened and immediately became entangled in a network of intrigue, deception and treachery which stretched from Nazi occupied France to the highest office of the SOE’s French section in London.
Susan Ottaway was born in Windsor, brought up in Egham and educated at Sir William Perkins's Girls School in nearby Chertsey. The daughter of an aircraft engineer, she has had a lifelong enthusiasm for aeroplanes and books. She worked for four different airlines over a period of 20 years, mainly in the UK but also in Germany and Australia, and wrote her first book, a biography of Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, before leaving the world of aviation. She then worked as a freelance editor and has since written six more books.
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