The War We Won Apart: The Untold Story of Two Elite Agents Who Became One of the Most Decorated Couples of WWII (Hardcover)

The War We Won Apart: The Untold Story of Two Elite Agents Who Became One of the Most Decorated Couples of WWII By Nahlah Ayed Cover Image

The War We Won Apart: The Untold Story of Two Elite Agents Who Became One of the Most Decorated Couples of WWII (Hardcover)


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Love, betrayal, and a secret war: the untold story of two elite agents, one Canadian, one British, who became one of the most decorated couples of WWII.

On opposite sides of the pond, Sonia Butt, an adventurous young British woman, and Guy d’Artois, a French-Canadian soldier and thunderstorm of a man, are preparing for war.

From different worlds, their lives first intersect during clandestine training to become agents with Winston Churchill’s secret army, the Special Operations Executive. As the world’s deadliest conflict to date unfolds, Sonia and Guy learn how to parachute into enemy territory, how to kill, blow up rail lines, and eventually . . . how to love each other. But not long after their hasty marriage, their love is tested by separation, by a titanic invasion—and by indiscretion.

Writing in vivid, heart-stopping prose, Ayed follows Sonia as she plunges into Nazi-occupied France and slinks into black market restaurants to throw off occupying Nazi forces, while at the same time participating in sabotage operations against them; and as Guy, in another corner of France, trains hundreds into a resistance army.

Reconstructed from hours of unpublished interviews and hundreds of archival and personal documents, the story Ayed tells is about the ravaging costs of war paid for disproportionately by the young. But more than anything, The War We Won Apart is a story about love: two secret agents who were supposed to land in enemy territory together, but were fated to fight the war apart.
NAHLAH AYED is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and currently a producer and host of CBC’s Ideas. For two decades, Ayed worked in hot zones around the globe—from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Her first book, A Thousand Farewells, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards.
Product Details ISBN: 9780735242067
ISBN-10: 0735242062
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: May 28th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English

“Writing so vivid you feel you are in the woods with the Resistance experiencing the seduction and horror of war. Brilliantly researched. Who knew elite women agents were parachuted behind enemy lines?”
—Rosemary Sullivan, bestselling author of The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation and Where the World Was: A Memoir

“A touching account of a remarkable young Canadian couple parachuted into occupied France to help the partisans: this is both a love story and a stirring tale about courage and selflessness all the more remarkable for having been kept so long a secret.”
—Caroline Moorehead, bestselling author of A Train in Winter

“Behind enemy lines, Allied resistance fighters and secret agents chanced all to strike at the Nazi occupiers of France. Ayed recounts their stories with sympathy and skill, following the lives and legacy of those who sacrificed, loved, and lost during these fraught battles to liberate the oppressed.”
—Tim Cook, bestselling author of The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering, and Remaking Canada’s Second World War

“This is a tale full of intrigue and suspense, but at its heart it's a love story, the kind that can only be forged within the intense heat of war. It's rendered even more poignant because the whole story is true, meticulously researched and crafted by one of Canada's finest journalists.”
—Carol Off, award-winning journalist and author of All We Leave Behind

“This compelling account of two secret agents parachuted into France on the eve of D-Day is a veritable page turner. Young, energetic, and just married, Sonia and Guy d’Artois were forced to fight apart, and each performed courageously in the field. But their separation came at a price, and Nahlah Ayed brilliantly—and with great sensitivity—captures the demands this placed on their relationship, both then and for the rest of their lives. Thoroughly researched and well-informed, this is a human story that lingers long in the mind.”
—David Stafford, author of Ten Days to D-Day and Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive

“[Ayed] skillfully transports the reader to World War Two as experienced by the brave SOE agents who landed behind enemy lines. . . . Readers looking for a page-turning World War Two tale will not be disappointed.”
The Spectator World

“[The War We Won Apart] offers a respectful, honest account of two flawed but exceptional people. . . . [T]his book serves as a meticulously researched, riveting tribute. . . . Nahlah Ayed, with the empathy and insight of a veteran war correspondent, has grippingly captured the events leading up to that relatively, miraculously happy ending.”
—Policy Magazine

“It is time that this fascinating piece of Canadian history was put to paper, honouring two highly resourceful Allied saboteurs working alongside the French Resistance. War correspondent and celebrated journalist Nahlah Ayed has found a masterful way to tell their story, and she is the right person to tell it.”
—Toronto Star

"Author Nahlah Ayed excels in her intermarriage of action and human emotion. . . . The War We Won Apart is an impressive work by an equally extraordinary Canadian writer, journalist and CBC personality who frames this story in a moving canvas of facts. Ayed's research is exhaustive."
Winnipeg Free Press