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D Day is approaching They don’t know where or when but the Germans know it'll be soon and for Felicity “Flick” Clairet the stakes have never been higher A senior agent in the ranks of the Special Operations Executive SOE responsible for sabotage Flick has survived to become one of Britain’s most effective operatives in Northern France She knows that the Germans’ ability to thwart the Allied attack depends upon their lines of communications and in the days before t I’m not even going to attempt to be diplomatic so buckle yourselves in because this book made me angryI’m surprised this has such a decent rating Jackdaws is a grim mockery of the dedication and fierce bravery of the SOE girls It exploits a very real and turbulent episode in European history failing to present the complexity of the sacrifice these women were willing to make many gave their lives What is marketed as an intense action packed thriller is nothing than a completely implausible troupe of women suabbling bitching about each other instigating cat fights and hooking up with every volunteer in a fifty mile radius Follett’s presentation of women is sickening The Jackdaws are never established as real characters beyond constant reminders of their sex appeal Follett has a needless preoccupation with the objectification of women which seems to serve no other purpose than as an attempt to villainise the antagonist or else add some sort of racy element that the unnecessary sex scenes fail to provide they read like bad smutty fanfic It’s also obvious that Follett was attempting some shade of free indirect style by sporadically adopting different characters’ voices but the female perspectives are especially cringey Follett endows the Jackdaws with stereotypically ‘girly’ lines in an attempt to emulate the female mindset Hackneyed examples include “I’m sorry for being such a girl” and the classic “My bum is too big” Look as a real life cisgender female I can testify that the size of my arse would be the last thing on my mind if I were facing the prospect of imminent capture and torture I guess Jackdaws is supposed to be some groundbreaking feminist masterpiece simply because it puts women center stage amid the androcentricity of war but to me the Jackdaws are hardly the epitome of ‘strong female characters’ Flick is nothing but a fighting machine with breasts “a tiny bundle of sex appeal” and yes that is an actual line something which apparently makes her an undisputed feminist Although other characters freuently supply helpful asides about how brave intelligent insert other stereotype here she is Flick never does anything to justify these claims Don't get me wrong I'm all for female empowerment but I thoroughly disagree with how Follett went about it Jackdaws heavily insinuates that for a woman to be on an eual footing with men she must be endowed with masculine ualities to make her like a man andor the men around her need to be degraded to incompetent idiots To me this completely contradicts the concept of gender euality and it's not fair on men or women Strong in the sense of physicality or capability is only one side of the coin; a character needs some level of vulnerability and empathy otherwise they will never have the need to be brave or indeed strong Being able to fire a gun alone does not make you brave or admirable Besides a primitive lust for violence is not a particularly appealing trait in anyone Every character was achingly stale and prone to stereotype Flick was a ripoff of Nancy Wake the openly bawdy SOE agent complete with a French lover and a codename that I assume was supposed to be lyrical like ‘The White Mouse’ but ‘Leopardess’ was just so obviously sultry that it had me snorting my disapproval Other characters were defined entirely by their sexuality It’s honourable that the effort was made to represent LGBT but these moments are so sporadic and contrived it feels to me as though Follett was trying too hard to be inclusive without actually doing the LGBT characters justice These characters have no other values or traits other than their sex

text Jackdaws

JackdawsHe invasion no target is of greater strategic importance than the largest telephone exchange in EuropeBut when Flick and her Resistance leader husband try a direct head on assault that goes horribly wrong her world turns upside down Her group destroyed her husband missing her superiors unsure of her her own confidence badly shaken she has one last chance at the target but the challenge once daunting is now near impossible The new plan reuires an all woman team none of them Either KF is a dirty old man or he's taken the adage sex sells to heart For a spy novel there was an awful lot of flirting and crushes and sex — each instance intended to be shocking than the last Rather each was ridiculous than the last resulting in sighs and eye rolling Lots of eye rollingWhen the author wasn't writing amateur porn and got around to writing the spy part of his spy novel things didn't pick up as much as you'd think The plot never gets any serious momentum It's best described as a formulaic cliche bad guys on the trail of the good guys or girls in this case with lots of close calls but everything turns out just pat a little too pat in the end All the right characters live all the wrong characters get what's coming to them and all the characters you feel neutral towards die You know to pull at the reader's heart strings and give the plot that necessary hint of realism BlehA good novel keeps the reader guessing It at least keeps the reader interested This pile of cliche and predictability did neither Only through misguided persistence could I slog through and finish this and especially at the end it was only to get it over with already

Ken Follett ì Jackdaws text

read Jackdaws doc À Paperback Ê ken follett é D Day is approaching They don’t know where or when but the Germans know it'll be soon and for Felicity “Flick” Clairet the stakes have never been higher A senior agent in the ranks of the Special Operations Executive SOE responsible for sabotage Flick has survived to become Professionals to be assembled and trained within days Code named the Jackdaws they will attempt to infiltrate the exchange under the noses of the Germans but the Germans are waiting for them now and have plans of their own There are secrets Flick does not know secrets within the German ranks secrets among her hastily recruited team secrets among those she trusts the most And as the hours tick down to the point of no return most daunting of all there are secrets within herse After a chunk of the French resistance in Reims is killed a ragtag band of mostly English female saboteurs are recruited and trained to take their places and blow up an important telephone exchange operated by the Nazis They must be female because they're going in undercover as cleanersFollett is from the Captain Obvious school of writing In my favorite example the protagonist Flick and her gay brother Mark go to a gay club in LondonA waiter said Hello Markie and put a hand on Mark's shoulder but gave Flick a hostile glareRobbie meet my sister Mark said Her name's Felicity but we've always called her FlickThe waiter's attitude changed and he gave Flick a friendly smile Very nice to meet you He showed them a tableFlick guessed that Robbie had suspected she might be a girlfriend and had resented her for persuading Mark to change sides as it were Then he had warmed to her when he learned she was Mark's sisterBut the novel is not all such tender scenes as this In fact there is lots and lots of torture Some men enjoyed torturing prisoners Follett writes They smiled when their victims screamed they got erections as they inflicted wounds and they experienced orgasms during their victims' death throes After about the sixth explicit Nazi torture scene some of it extremely disturbingly sexual readers can be excused for thinking that some men enjoy writing about torture in the same way