My Story: Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan
Noor Inayat Khan and her family are forced to flee Nazi-occupied France following the death of her father, and so Noor finds herself beginning a new life in England. Horrified by the Nazi forces terrorising her homeland, she makes the brave decision to fight for what she believes in, and begins work as an undercover agent for Winston Churchill back in Paris. Noor will have to use all her wits and courage if she’s to stay undercover and help the Allied forces defeat Hitler’s armies.
This is the incredible true story of Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman who spied for Britain during the Second World War. Noor is written by Sufiya Ahmed as a brave and fiercely impassioned young woman, painting her life - from her childhood in Paris to her role as a Special Operations Executive for Churchill - with meticulous detail and a realistic first person voice.
Noor is a fascinating and contradictory character – the daughter of a Sufi pacifist, but ready to give her life in the effort to defeat the Nazis; a just and courageous hero, but one who feels fear and makes mistakes, just like anyone else; and in one of the story’s best scenes, she reveals that she is a staunch advocate for Indian independence even as she swears loyalty to a war leader whose politics directly oppose her own.
This story is packed with excitement, mystery, espionage, heroic acts and astonishing resilience; but it’s Noor’s character, in turn brave, terrified, indignant and joyous whilst always relatable, which grips the reader from page to page. Those who are familiar with the life of the real Noor Inayat Khan will be aware of how she met her end, and Ahmed’s retelling doesn’t shy away from this. Readers must be warned that there are scenes of brutality, torture, and death, which may be unsuitable for younger or more sensitive audiences. However, Sufiya Ahmed’s skill as a storyteller gives an unforgettable voice to a unique hero whose incredible life will inspire generations to come.