Book Review: Signed, Mata Hari

Murphy’s artistic interlacing of fact and fiction make for an absorbing, sadly poetic telling of the life and times of one of history’s most reviled spies while generating just the right amount of doubt as to whether justice was truly served when Mata Hari faced the firing squad. Her difficult childhood when she “walked across the sea”, a defining moment in her life, learning more about pleasing a man then classroom teaching, marriage to an abusive husband, raising two children in Java, losing her son to poison, her husband taking their daughter and leaving her and her eventual reinvention into a notable dancer and courtesan are all recounted during Mata Hari’s last days in barren Paris jail cell. The disjointed storytelling style occasionally leaves one floundering as the time frames keep changing but is a small price to pay for a deep, compelling look at this strong, complex woman and her daughter.  Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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