A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Oh no! Summer is half over already. We have only a few weeks left for our history-based summer reading program. It has been a fun and popular program, and one of my favorite parts has been having author Kathryn Atwood come to the library to talk about her book Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue, which was published this past spring by Chicago Review Press. On a beautiful Wednesday evening, we gathered our chairs around the fireplace in the Reading Room for good conversation, cookies, and lemonade.
Having been raised in Western Springs, Kathryn is truly a local author. She showed us a photo of her family’s house when it was newly built and told about frequenting the library as a student. She also told us about her love for history and how she became interested in the women of many countries who in one way or another fought against the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. They hid Jews in their basements, spied for the Allies, distributed anti-Nazi pamphlets, helped downed Allied pilots escape capture, and risked their lives in many other ways. While telling their brave stories, Kathryn showed pictures of around two dozen women of whom she has great admiration. I was fascinated by how her book evolved as she discovered new women and talked with some of their descendants. I was also interested in hearing how often she was told that previous authors had not gotten the stories right.
After the program, Kathryn gladly answered questions about the women, her book, and her future writing projects. She also graciously signed books and spoke with a local reporter. It won’t be the last we see of her. She’ll be back in February as part of the History Singers for one of our Elmer Kennedy History lectures. – Review by Rick