Sandy Powers' father told her to look on the closet shelf for some boxes that her mother left for her. Her mother had died a few days earlier but never said anything about leaving anything special in the closet. Sandy found several boxes of old letters, journals and documents on her mother's closet shelf. "Passage" is the true story of the secret life of Grace Balogh. The entire book consists of these documents that had been hidden away for so many years.
I found this book to be a real page-turner and tear-jerker. Grace was adopted when she was an infant but her adopted mother died when she was just six years old. Her father soon married a mean, abusive woman with two daughters. Grace lived in a real-life Cinderella situation for many years. Her step-mother beat her and stole money that her birth family had provided for her.
Grace married at a young age and started a family. Many of Grace's friends were serving in Europe during World War II. The author included several letters from men serving our country overseas...some never returned home. During The War, Grace attended several meetings of the American Communist Party. At this time the United States and Russia were fighting together to defeat the Nazis in Europe. Russia and the United States were friends so Grace did not see anything wrong with the Communists.
When Grace was just 32 years old, she discovered a lump on her neck. She went to the doctor and found out she had cancer. She took the brand new chemotherapy treatments and radiation. These treatments made her very ill but the cancer eventually went into remission.
In the 1950s, the United States became involved in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Our entire country was afraid of a Communist take-over of the world. One day two agents from the FBI showed up at Grace's door. They stated that they knew she was a former member of the Communist Party and asked her to go undercover and become active in The Party again. Grace decided to help her country by going undercover and obtaining as much information as possible. She worked as an undercover FBI informant for five years.
I have to say that this book really knocked my socks off. I think it is true that "fact" is stranger than "fiction". The book is well organized and the story has a great flow. I forgot to say that Grace and her husband witnessed a murder while visiting a friend's house in their neighborhood! "Passage"is an incredible true story of Grace Balogh and her courage during a turbulent time in American history. This book needs to get a movie deal ~ It is that good!