”Dragonfly” by Leila Meacham, Grand Central Publishing, 2019, 577 pages

Set in Nazi-occupied Paris, “Dragonfly” is the story of five American young adults who agree to serve as spies for various reasons.

Victoria wants to locate her missing fiancé. Bucky has just discovered he has a different biological father than the man who raised him. Brad and Bridgette are eager to get away from home. Chris intends to escape the prejudice his German family endures in New Braunfels. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. The Dragonfly team must also deal with Chris’ best friend who has defected to Germany.

Thus begins a dramatic cat-and-mouse game, as the group seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But ... is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spy craft?

At the beginning of the book there’s a relationship between Bridgette and her best friend Gladys, who won’t allow Bridgette to move on. How does fly fishing tie into the story?

The underlying theme throughout the novel is that good and evil appear in everyone. The tales of the five spies wander in and out, moving from one possible tragedy to another, too exciting to put the book aside. If you have a problem with numerous characters, keep notes as you read. Their courage never falters, but at times the five lose heart as each takes two steps forward, one back.

The short, choppy chapters and tense cliffhangers keep the reader hooked, just wishing a favorite character could stay with us a little longer. Meacham has connected to the German immigrants in Texas that kept to themselves. They didn’t incorporate into the American culture. Germany continued to be their country until the atrocities began happening to their friends across the ocean. What loyalty do immigrants owe to their country where they have settled?

JoAn Watson Martin is an educator.

(1) comment

Gary Miller

You may be true. But not in the same proportions in everyone.

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