Signed, Mata Hari by Yannick Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What were the events that lead up to Mati Hari's appointment with death, by firing squad? Was she a spy? Maybe. A victim of certain acclimate circumstances? Most definitely.
This book shows what happens to a woman with few resources in a maddening cloud of war. Mati Hari did her best to reclaim her identity and her children. She may have been a high priced call girl, but the book illustrates that she did this out of dire need. She was left behind by an abusive husband; the husband took her child and deserted her. Mati Hari had to find a way to scratch at the surface of a dried out Europe in hopes to find some nourishment. But, the events in this book take place before and during World War I; the war that would forever change the Geo-Politics of Europe. It was a time that asked a woman where is your place between the bullets and contracts? Yannick Murphy does a great job of illustrating the events that would place Mati Hari in a position to be declared a double-spy; she found herself a midst a "no man's land" with no direction home.
The book is haunting and worth reading. Signed Mata Hari is poetic and moves you in between the sheets of a body politic. This book is also timely considering the politics of the body prevalent in media coverage today.
Caveat Lector (Let the Reader Beware) the book has a number of sexually explicit scenes that may not be for everyone. I believe these scenes are needed to show what Mata Hari had currency she had and what she was willing to do to carve our a niche in a dangerous world.
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