We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
A Covert Affair Audiobook

A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS

Regular Price:£21.29
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Jennet Conant brings us a stunning account of Julia and Paul Child's experiences as members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the Far East during World War II. She also details the tumultuous years when they were caught up in the McCarthy Red spy hunt in the 1950s and behaved with bravery and honor. It is a fascinating portrait of a group of idealistic men and women who were recruited by the citizen spy service, slapped into uniform, and dispatched to wage political warfare in remote outposts in Ceylon, India, and China.

The eager, inexperienced 6-foot, 2-inch Julia springs to life in these pages, a gangly golf-playing California girl who had never been farther abroad than Tijuana. Single and 30 years old when she joined the staff of Colonel William Donovan, Julia volunteered to be part of the OSS's ambitious mission to develop a secret intelligence network across Southeast Asia.

©2011 Jennet Conant (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Conant's vivid tapestry of the 1940s skillfully interweaves interviews, oral histories, memoirs, and recently unclassified OSS and FBI documents with unpublished diaries and letters. The adventurous young OSS recruits spring to life throughout this meticulously researched, authoritative history." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.0 (2 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
0 (0 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
0 (0 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    BobBr Turkey 17/09/2012
    BobBr Turkey 17/09/2012

    Opinicus AKA Anne's Little Brother Bob

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "This book is not about Julia Child and Paul Child"

    At least 80% percent of the book is about an OSS colleague of the Childs, Jane Foster:a drunken, flighty, trust-fund- supported party girl who was also an American Communist and spied for the Soviets. Where the Childs are mentioned at all it's to state their impressions of Foster.



    Stay away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • PHYLLIS ABRAMS
    STUDIO CITY, CA, US
    16/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "bait and switch"
    What would have made A Covert Affair better?

    shame on you the title had nothing to do with the book what a scam


    What could Jennet Conant have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    not lie


    Any additional comments?

    i want my money back

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mari
    24/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deceptive Title-Book Not about Paul & Julia Child"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, because it wasn't about Julia Child in the OSS.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It was an interesting account of the 1950's McCarthy witch hunts.
    Least interesting was the account of life in Paris.


    What does Jan Maxwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    French pronunciation.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    A disappointing read. 98 % of the book was about Jane Foster. Paul and Julia were merely footnotes to her story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Marsha
    Orem, UT, United States
    02/11/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Julia and Paul?? Not in this book"

    I have to agree with the other reviewer, this book has a misleading title. There are bits and pieces about Julia and Paul but this book is not about them. Its about some rich lady named Jane who comes into the book when Paul is hauled into the McCarthy questioning and then never leaves and becomes the main character in the book. I've not completed listening to this book and at this point I doubt I will. I didn't want to read a story about a rich kid, her clothes and affairs she had while working for the OSS during WWII. I wanted to read about Julia and Paul Child. So disappointing. I'm going to give it a few more chapters if it doesn't return to Julia and Paul it'll be removed from my iPod.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gene
    Grahamsville, NY, United States
    10/06/11
    Overall
    "Misleading title"

    This book uses Julia Child's name to deliver a personal tyrade about someone else who was a member of the OSS with the Childs. One is constantly asking oneself..."What does this have to do with Julia Child?" There was alomst nothing about Julia in the book at all.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • carolyn
    Louisville, Ky, United States
    15/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bait and switch!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book has little to do with Julia and Paul Child, and I found that disappointing. The main focus is on a woman whom they knew in the OSS who was quite a character and interesting, but the title and cover had led me to believe I'd learn more about the work both of them did.

    The book is rich in detail of the OSS work, at least in how women were allowed to perform it during the war. It also paints an interesting portrait of post-war paranoia rooted in the Red scare, and offers explanations via examples of how the U.S. executed its Southeast Asian policies as the region's colonial empires collapsed.

    But when you are expecting to hear more about the Childs, it was a shock!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Loretta
    Wilton, NH, United States
    01/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Also disappointed"

    I have to agree with the review titled "bait & switch" - the book was mostly about Jane Foster with the Childs a footnote to the story. After the first chapter, which tells of Mr. Child's summons to the HUAC inquest, the other references to the Childs seem to be in the "Gee I better mention them since their name is in the title" realm of thought. There was a little on their courtship, and inclusion of the Childs marriage was an afterthought. "Oh yeah, they got married a few years before.." The rest was pretty much Jane Jane Jane, which didn't seem necessary, since apparently Jane wrote her own darn book before she died. Egad!

    Ms. Maxwell's performance was okay and pleasant to listen to, so I did stick with it - all the while hoping the story would come back around to fulfill the promise of the title.

    I've had other books that I've not liked, but this is the first audible book that I've felt cheated with. For that reason, I would say "Buyer Beware!" before recommending it. Anyway... there are plenty of books that I have loved and will love, so I'm moving on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • margaret
    22/05/16
    Overall
    "The OSS in the far east, The beginnings of CIA"

    The OSS in the far east included the story of Paul and Julia meeting and service. It also extensively discusses the women Paul called his 3Js ; Jane, Julia and Jean who lead to Paul being called before McCarthy committee.
    Wonderful report of Women in service with war and post war goverments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Falls Church, VA, United States
    13/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could be retitled as The Jane Forster Story"
    What did you like best about A Covert Affair? What did you like least?

    It was not so much about Julia and Paul Child and their relationship with the OSS. The main character is Jane Forster a coworker of Julia in the OSS. In the post war McCarthy era, Jane is suspected to be a communist spy, pursued by the FBI, and indited by the Justice department. I feel that I was tricked into reading the book under the that perhaps it was about undercover operations by Julia. It was definitely not, but I enjoyed reading about Jane.


    If you’ve listened to books by Jennet Conant before, how does this one compare?

    NA


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Pretty much


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    NO


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Juanita Kennedy
    Culpeper, VA USA
    24/08/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, but not really about the Childs"
    Any additional comments?

    I didn't really know anything about the OSS, so I enjoyed learning about the organization and their role in the war. I also really liked the story of the people the author chose to highlight, and the parts about the McCarthy era are disturbing. However, the main subject of the book is the Childs' friend, not Paul & Julia themselves, so the title is a little misleading. I was a little disappointed in this - I picked the book to learn more about this aspect of Julia Child's life. However, I was definitely engrossed by the time I figured this out, so I kept listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.