Author: Elizabeth Wein
Release Date: May 15, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery.
Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in "Verity's" own words, as she writes her account for her captors.
Arrested by the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied France, "Verity" has made a deal with her Nazi interrogators. In exchange for information on everything she knows about the British War Effort, she will be given pen and paper to write down her confession and more time to live. And so begins Code Name Verity, taking place in both the present and past as "Verity" chooses to write from the perspective of her best friend Maddie, how they first met and eventually became ever the loyal to each other... and how their secret mission went so horribly wrong.
Within a few chapters, I was completely in awe of Elizabeth Wein's writing style and all the little details that completely bring the book to life. I've read several novels taking place during WWII... but I've never read anything like Code Name Verity. Most of the time, we're used to seeing the terrible battles fought on the front lines, so I was enthralled learning more about the important roles Maddie and "Verity" played in the war as they first served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force together before breaking away to become a pilot and a secret agent, respectively.
As "Verity" recounts more of her past on every scrap of paper she can get her hands onto and struggles against her captors, an ache starts in your chest which never fades away. Because while you're still not sure if her words are wholly true, you just know that as soon as "Verity" stops writing, there will be only the desperate hope that it will be enough to save her. She may have questioned her own strength, but we truly see how both she and Maddie were as courageous and talented as they come.
Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity is an extraordinary tale of friendship and bravery which moved me to tears. My heart still hurts just thinking about all the events which led to the conclusion... and I'm still not quite sure I've recovered. Code Name Verity is an absolute must-read not just for historical fiction fans, but also for readers who can't tear their eyes from emotionally compelling novels which take your breath away.
Thanks so much to Random House Canada for providing this review copy! You can also check out the UK book trailer for Code Name Verity below!
Giveaway! I have an extra ARC of Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity, so I'm giving it away to a lucky follower!
- please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter
- giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
- giveaway will end at 12:00 a.m. on June 7, 2012
- winner will be contacted by email afterwards
- do not leave your email address in the comments
Giveaway is closed.
Congratulations to Alicia A.!