Relevant Reads for Progressives

Women’s History Month

By Rebecca (Becky) W


Title: A Woman of No Importance | Author: Sonia Purnell | Publication Date: Penguin Books, 2019


This is the story of Virginia Hall, who despite being a Baltimore socialite, was so appalled by Nazi Germany that she talked her way into one of Winston Churchill’s spy agencies. She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines during World War II. This was despite having a prosthetic leg!

She became the leader of a vast spy operation in France. In 1942, the Gestapo dubbed her “the most dangerous of all Allied spies.”

She narrowly avoided capture and certain execution by crossing the Pyrenees on foot into Spain.


Title: Valentine | Author: Elizabeth Wetmore | Publication Date: Deckle Edge, March 2020

In February of 1976, Odessa, Texas is poised for the next great oil boom. While the men are excitedly anticipating prosperity, the women are dreading the violence—mainly aimed at women – that always accompanies a boom town.

When a 14-year-old girl is savagely attacked only days after operations have begun, the women bond together to bring about some consequences. Their fight is taken fruitlessly into the churches and the barrooms of Odessa before the law intervenes. Even then justice is evasive.

The book plumbs the depths of violence, race, class, gender, and region before a window of hope and beauty appears.