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While Still We Live

While Still We Live A master of the suspense novel THE BOSTON GLOBEIt began very innocently A holiday visit to Poland But before enojoying the sights and sounds of this fascinating new place happiness took a violent tur

  • Title: While Still We Live
  • Author: Helen MacInnes
  • ISBN: 9780449208359
  • Page: 291
  • Format: Paperback
  • A master of the suspense novel THE BOSTON GLOBEIt began very innocently A holiday visit to Poland But before enojoying the sights and sounds of this fascinating new place, happiness took a violent turn and became a nightmare of terrorwhen suddenly you re mistaken for a Nazi spy, and to save your life, you have to prove you are innocent.

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      Posted by:Helen MacInnes
      Published :2019-05-20T17:32:19+00:00

    About "Helen MacInnes"

    1. Helen MacInnes

      Helen MacInnes was a Scottish American author of espionage novels She graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland in 1928 with a degree in French and German A librarian, she married Professor Gilbert Highet in 1932 and moved with her husband to New York in 1937 so he could teach classics at Columbia University She wrote her first novel, Above Suspicion, in 1939 She wrote many bestselling suspense novels and became an American citizen in 1951.

    409 Comments

    1. A young British woman visiting Poland is recruited as a double agent on the eve of the Nazi invasion. The first half, set in Warsaw during the siege and in the first days of the occupation, was dynamite. Then Sheila Matthews ends up trekking through the Polish countryside as a refugee, joining the Resistance and spending lots of time in the forest. This part was a real slog, made nearly unendurable by a deeply stupid 'insta-love' sub-plot. I skimmed the last 100 pages. Helen MacInnes wrote While [...]


    2. Sheila is visiting friends in Poland. The year is 1939 and war is about to break out. While she has the means to leave the country, she stays behind hoping to help her friends get through the Siege of Warsaw, but is mistaken for a spy by the Germans and they insist on her help. She never knew her father and finds out that he was a Polish spy who was killed in WWI. The Resistance leaders all knew her father and while they don't want to put her in any danger, they have no choice since the Germans [...]


    3. This is probably my all-time favorite book. I read it once every two years or so. All of Helen MacInnes' books are fun reads--providing the reader with interesting characters, suspenseful plots, and intriquing locales, but this one has a depth to it that most of the others don't have. This is more than just a good World War Two, Espionage story. You are introduced to the heart of Poland and whether or not you have previously had any connection with this country or its people, you come away feeli [...]


    4. When Sheila, somewhat naively, accepts an invitation to visit Polish acquaintances in the countryside not far from Warsaw in the summer of 1939, she is oblivious to the fact that war is about to break out all over Europe. Suddenly, it is too late to return to England, and Sheila belatedly realizes she is in danger. However, learning for the first time that her father died in Poland makes Sheila realize she too would like to work toward Poland's freedom. When she is mistaken for a German spy, sud [...]


    5. Until the end this was a 5-star read for me. The fall of Poland to the Germans is depicted in such great detail, fraught with tragedies, inconveniences and general fascination. Alan Furst MUST have read this before "The Polish Officer." There was a lot about the book that made me want to go to Poland--good landscape, interior and urban descriptions, good descriptions of both peasants and aristocrats, women and men. But then, because this was written in 1944, the heroine, a great self-doubting sm [...]


    6. 4.5 stars for meOne of my ol' faithfuls that I like to re-read every now and again. The story is that of Sheila, a young British woman who vacations to Poland in 1939, just before the outbreak of the war in Europe. Sheila witnesses the destruction of Warsaw, the fall of the free nations, and the rise of Naziism in Europe. Pulled into a war that she never wanted to be apart of, and beginning to care about the Polish people whom she never really understood, Sheila begins to realize that now is tim [...]


    7. I found this book while in high school in the school library. That was in the 1950's. I absolutely loved it, and later read it again several times. I also read many other books by this author, and althought she may be hard to find in your local library, most of her books are available on . This book is a story of an English girl who is vacationing inPoland at the beginning of WWII. She gets stuck in Poland during the war and falls in love with a Polish partisan. The story is excellent and how sh [...]


    8. A moving tribute to the tragedy and heroism of the Poles during the1939 German invasion of Poland, the siege of Warsaw, and the resistance/underground movement.


    9. 4.5 stars for me.What if you were visiting Poland right as World War II broke out and Germany invaded the country and you were mistaken for a German spy? This is the scenario presented in Helen MacInnes' fantastic suspense novel. Sheila Matthews is a young British woman put into this situation, and what follows is her story of joining the Polish underground movement. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this novel is that it was written in 1944, while these events were fresh. I thoroug [...]


    10. Helen MacInnes's early suspense novels are especially intriguing because they were written while WWII was still raging, and she had to carefully ensure that the places and characters could not be tied by the ever-suspicious Nazis to living people and actual places. In this case, she did not want to create suspicion of a Polish guerrilla movement that might or might not have existed as she described it. She wrote that she had no first-hand knowledge of such an organization, and created her story [...]


    11. An early novel of Helen MacInnes', with its focus on the invasion and capitulation of Warsaw in 1939. Sheila Matthews, a young British woman, is visiting friends in Poland when the threat of war becomes imminent. She elects to stay in Poland and contribute to the war effort, but a complication arises when she is mistaken for a look-alike named Madalena Koch - who happens to be a German agent. With all the MacInnes bravura, but a different tone from her later works. This was published in 1944, wh [...]


    12. I love Helen MacInnes's spy thrillers, set in the first half of the twentieth century in America and Europe. While Still We Live was my favourite book by Ms. MacInnes. Set in Poland in the days leading up to the Occupation, it gave me my first taste of modern history as a child. The love story is also tragic and very romantic. Overall, a thrilling re-enactment of a devastating time.


    13. Another MacInnes book that became one of my all time favorite books. I read this as a teenager - stayed with me all these years later. Wonderful love story.


    14. This should totally be a miniseries. A British woman chooses to stay in Poland as the Nazis invade, and the consequences of that are manifold. It's fiction, but at least the general overview seems to ring true. Writing doesn't have to be gory to express the horrors of war. And it's fun when they are cursing in Polish - "Dog's blood!"



    15. I have read many books set in World War II, but none of them dealing with Germany's initial invasion of Poland. I remember reading that most of the educated and well-off Poles were murdered out of hand or sent to concentration camps, leaving only the peasants and middle class, but this book really lays out what the Polish people went through and not for the first time in their history. It mentions some of the amazing things Poles have done in history as well. None of which I knew. Mainly it cent [...]


    16. Looking for a book that would keep my interest, I happened upon the 1944 novel "While Still We Live." This relatively early Helen MacInnes novel met all my expectations: a delightful hero who must pull out courage she didn't know she had, the invasion of Poland by the Germans, characters I believed in, villains I had no trouble despising and, of course, a love story. Because it was written in the early 1940's, MacInnes' hero ( perhaps I should say heroine) is seen as a weak female who must be pr [...]


    17. Helen MacInnes was a celebrated writer of intenational intrigue, about whom I have read much but of whose work I have read nothing. Seeking an introduction to her work, I chose While Still We Live. It was not the right choice, but I'm not discouraged and would be grateful if someone could recommend another, better, book by Ms. McInnes so I could try again. WSWL was written during WWII. It was intended, and is successful as, a moving tribute to the tragedy and heroism of the Poles, savagely overr [...]


    18. A visitor to Poland at the start of WW II finds herself in Warsaw during the German invasion and unable to leave. She unwittingly becomes part of the Polish resistance, first posing as a German spy who welcomes the German troops, and then she has to flee to the forest camps and live with resistance fighters,while a suspicious German trails her. It is surprising that this story was written in 1944, before the end of the war. Five stars for how the author touches our hearts regarding the plight of [...]


    19. 4.5 It's great to go back to an author you loved years ago and find you get even more from their work than you did originally. While written as popular fiction, this story provided more depth, insight, and emotion than we are used to in contemporary writing. The story is about a young English woman caught in Poland during the Nazi invasion. We see her grow, change, and learn lessons about life, love, human nature, politics, and war. The reader comes away with a real understanding of the terror a [...]


    20. I read this book several years ago and was very happy when I saw it was available in Kindle version. I have read it again and enjoyed even more all the descriptions of the country side, the people and how the author described everything. The story shows us about the courage the people from Poland had, about their history and how they fought for what they believed. The romance part of the book (Sheila and Adam) was very ingeniously added in the book, without making it a romance novel, but just en [...]


    21. The author, Helen Macinnes, was a female espionage writer in the early 1950's. She was one of the few female writers in that genre, as men were considered more able to write about such things. But, the head of the CIA is reported to have enjoyed her novels. In addition, she based her novels on experiences she had as a newlywed traveling in Europe prior to WWII. Culturally I found the books very interesting as they depicted roles of men and women of the era. I have read a few of her novels, as th [...]


    22. I had picked this up at a second hand shop after reading her Greek Civil War novel and being fascinated by her (admittedly opinionated) depth of knowledge even in the form of what was ultimately a love story. This book, set in the first 3 months after Germany invaded Russia was very similar. The publication date is 1944 which means that it was written without any foreknowledge of how World War 2 ended which makes it even more fascinating. There are points in the story of our heroine that don't r [...]


    23. September 1, 1939 -- the day Germany invaded Poland. And for one British girl this is a wake up call and she becomes involved in the Resistance. This is more a story of praise for Poland -- her history and people. And their refusal to give in. When I read it for the first time years ago I thought it was okay but a very weak story. It's still not a great thriller -- for long periods there's a lack of action but it is worth the read simply for the story of Poland (whether true or not, accurate or [...]


    24. I consider this more adventure-romance than spy novel, and I tend to forget about MacInnes' slow build-ups. But once I settled into the pacing, I appreciated this book more and more. I know so little about Poland, and it was fascinating to learn about the WWII Polish Resistance. And more fascinating to think of this being published in 1944. From my very basic Googling, I'm pretty sure the realities of the Resistance grew more complicated, due to the Soviets. But MacInnes gave a real feel for the [...]


    25. I've set a goal to read, or in many cases re-read, all,of Helen MacInnes's books. This is number 3. This is set in Poland during WWII, beginning just before the Germans attack. Sheila Matthews, visiting from Britain, gets drawn into the conflict spying for the Poles. There are many tense moments. The book paints a grim picture of Germany's take over of Poland. It does get a bit preachy in spots which I think is just MacInnes trying to get the reader to feel the horrors of war and man's inhumanit [...]


    26. I read all of the MacInnes books back in the dark ages when they were written, and enjoyed the combination of suspense and romance they feature. This one's particularly enjoyable, especially after my experience teaching European history, because it gives a participants' eye view of the Nazi invasion of Poland with the heroic resistance of the Polish people. The book begins rather slowly, so I had to persevere to get into the book, but once the protagonist lands in jeopardy, the book really moves [...]


    27. Written in 1944, the events in this book are still painful and new. In one of this lady's books, the plot was so believable, Nazi stragglers were trying to find the setting, ( a fictional lake), they thought it was based on knowledge. There are a lot of characters and you just have to assume that they will all sort themselves out, and they do. She tells such good stores, but will change your way of viewing the world forever.


    28. A young British woman is trapped in Poland during the Nazi invasion. She survives the siege of Warsaw and gets involved spying on the Germans. Eventually she joins a Polish guerrila group in the forests. I thought the siege and counterintelligence parts particularly gripping, but the last section was a bit too hokey. Written during the early days of the war, it has a certain touch that a book written after the war wouldn't have.


    29. A sweeping novel of a young Englishwoman's romance with Poland during the invasion by the Germans. Sheila Matthews has come to Poland on vacation and just can't bring herself to leave so when the Nazis invade she bravely decides to stay and offers her assistance to the Polish restiance fighters. Great suspense, spy action, and realistic sense of how the invasion affected Poland.


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