Image of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel


Image of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

Murphy merges the
surreal and the real,
using exquisite, lyrical prose, stream-of-consciousness narrative and shifting scenes and viewpoints
to tell how Margaretha Zelle became the notorious Mata Hari. You'll be
captivated by Murphy's vivid imagery in this novel, a book for those seeking a unique view of a woman whose name conjures up treachery and spies.

Murphy traces Margaretha from her childhood in the Netherlands, to Java -- where she is shown as a loving mother and the quiet wife of a cruel military man -- to her years as the infamous, sensual dancer, courtesan and accused World War I German spy and her final days in a Paris prison awaiting the firing squad. Murphy reminds us what desperation can do to a good soul. The story of Mata Hari forces us to evaluate ourselves, as we wonder whether she was saint or sinner, and reminds us that we are all spies of one kind or another. (Little, Brown, Nov., 288 pp., $23.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin