The Housewife Spy by Clare Gray

The Housewife Spy by Clare Gray

Odette was born in the north of France in 1912. During the First World War, her mother gave housing to some British soldiers for free. The girl saw a good example of a strong woman since childhood and this greattly affected her future life. Odette moved to England in 1931 as her husband was English. When World War II began , Odette told the family that she wanted to become a military nurse. But it was a lie. In fact, she became a spy. This is a story about a brave woman who wanted to be useful, like her mother. But her work turned out to be much more important and dangerous. A young spy risked her life and got into very dangerous situations. She managed to make a significant contribution. Not everyone can endure such ordeals as Odette.

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The Housewife Spy by Clare Gray

“We want you to go to France as a spy,” the man said calmly. Odette could not believe her ears. A spy? Her? Was this man crazy?

Odette was born in Amiens, in the north of France, in 1912. During World War I her mother helped the fight against Germany by offering rooms in her home to British soldiers. Little Odette loved playing with the soldiers. They spoke strangely, but they were friendly and interesting. She loved their stories about England. When Odette later married an Englishman, her mother was not surprised! After a short time in France, Odette and her husband moved to England in 1931.

In 1939 German soldiers attacked Poland, and World War II began. One year later, Germans moved into France and started a new government there. Odette’s heart was broken. She remembered the proud people of Amiens in World War I. They fought hard for France’s freedom, but now it was lost. Odette knew that she wanted to help. But she was only a housewife. What could she do?

The Housewife Spy by Clare Gray

In the early 1940s more and more countries joined the war. Around the world, people were fighting and dying. Odette listened to the radio news sadly, and then her heart stopped… The British government wanted pictures of French beaches! Her old vacation photos! At last she could really help.

When the British Secret Service’ saw Odette’s photos, they immediately became interested in this young Frenchwoman. She knew a lot about the north of France. Maybe she had some more useful information. Or maybe she could help in another way. Was she smart? Was she brave? Did she want to help Britain and France? They decided to invite Odette to their offices in London. Soon Odette was traveling toward a future that she could not imagine in her wildest dreams.

“We want you to go to France as a spy,” the man said calmly. Odette could not believe her ears. A spy? Her? Was this man crazy?

“I’m only a housewife,” she replied quietly. “I have three young daughters and a loving husband. They need me. I’m sorry.”

But as Odette listened to her own voice, she knew. She knew that her country needed her more. The room was quiet. The calm man sat silently behind his desk, waiting. Odette thought of her family and her home. Her heart ached as she spoke. “I’ll help in any way I can. What do I need to do?”

Odette began her lonely life of secrets and lies immediately. She lied to her family. She wanted to be a war nurse, she told them. She smiled kindly as she kissed her daughters and husband goodbye. But, inside, her heart was breaking. “Will I ever see you again?” she thought…

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