The Unknown Mrs Rosen
“A FAMILY IS GOOD COVER
You do love them, though; the emotions, at least, are real.”
The story of a spy, but no ordinary "spy story". In the end it is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia which defeats Marjorie Rosen, but neglect in hospital in a quiet English seaside town. While her three middle-aged children fall out as they struggle to deal with social services, Marjorie is reliving an unspoken life of espionage, betrayal and violence – about which they know nothing.
A brilliant, tough-minded problem solver, the young Marjorie is transferred from code-breaking, trained for hand-to-hand combat and sent alone into wartime Germany to make contact with Erika, the wife of a senior Nazi official. There is an instant rapport between the two women.
A secret alliance between Marjorie and Erika continues throughout the Cold War. In a clandestine web of former wartime connections, Marjorie is drawn deeper into the world of secret intelligence, spying on Russia for the British, and on Britain for the Israelis.
Marjorie must constantly guard her cover as an ordinary wife and mother, purposely unremarkable, raising her post-War children - who cause great grief to her beloved husband Harry, even, she believes, contributing to his death.
On the eve of retirement, when Erika is finally betrayed and murdered, Marjorie hunts down the traitor to a corner of rural France seething with its own legacy of dark memories and wartime secrets.
The Unknown Mrs Rosen, by Andrew Sanger
COMMENT & REVIEWS
Gripping spy thriller and family saga, from the Cold War to the care home.
Combines the emotion and drama of a family saga with the nail-biting excitement of a thriller, and combines the two perfectly. It’s a multi-layered novel which deals with many issues but also manages to be a page-turner. There are some beautiful passages of writing, too. Highly recommended. - MIKE GERRARD [journalist, author - read full review]
This could have been one of your family.
Immersive and elegant story... The possibility that the central character could have been one of your own family adds a level of intrigue that I found fascinating. The ‘care of the elderly’ dimension makes it all the more poignant and tender to read, if a little harrowing at times, and anyone with parents in that period in their life will identify with the trials and tribulations they face. An excellent read. - TERRY MARSH [author - read full review]
“This remarkable novel... engaging and beautifully written.”
This remarkable novel spans decades of a complex life, encompassing war, love, family, friendships and old age... holding the reader's attention throughout. Very engaging and beautifully written. - AJR JOURNAL [journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees; reviewer Emma Klein - read full review (PDF)]
A story about England...
Riveting. The author has created a character about whose past and future the reader becomes more and more vividly curious and interested. I could not put it down. - GERALD RABIE [reader - read full review]
A page-turner, a treat, and raises very present-day questions
Working in secret necessitates Mrs Rosen being unknown. Fast forward to her dotage and she becomes ‘unknown’ to all around her. Finely blended into the tale is the relationship with her husband and children. Apart from the very present-day questions this book raises, the question that remains is - when will Andrew Sanger’s next novel appear? – WESSEX JEWISH NEWS [reviewer Henri Ruff - read full review (PDF)].
A fascinating story at many levels.
I love the way Mrs Rosen's wartime and post war experiences are intertwined with her decline in old age. A page-turner. - H.P.KAMMERLING [reader - read full review]
Bridges the generational divide.
No one knows what great courage Mrs Rosen has shown, and what great things she achieved, and she will not speak of them. Much of The Unknown Mrs Rosen is set in and around the New Forest. The Lymington-based author and travel writer often draws inspiration from the local area. - LYMINGTON TIMES - read full review (PDF)]