Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

This book is amazing and intense.  The story follows two young women and their involvement in the British war effort during WWII.  One is a pilot, the other is a spy.  The story opens in Julie’s voice.  She has been captured and tortured by the Nazis after being dropped in France for a mission with the French Resistance.  She writes the story of her friendship with Maddie, who lives and breathes to fly.  It was Maddie who flew her to France for her mission.  The Nazis think Julie is a wireless operator.  Her tormentors have broken her and she promises to write lines of code which she weaves into her story.  The more she writes, the longer she is allowed to live.  The author’s thorough research shines through.  The details about life in Britain during WWII, the civilian female pilots, the espionage, the airplanes, the friendship, the desperation, the sorrow, the loss, are all brilliantly woven into this complex story.  It’s espionage after all, so it will be complex.  Also well written is the disruption of war.  Common people whose everyday lives were interrupted by war.  Former schoolgirls are resistance fighters.  German headmasters and chemists, forced to become torturers and murderers, losing their souls in the process.  This story will linger with me for quite some time – every nuance in the book.  The characters feel so real and the story is so well told the reader will feel that they are with Julie during every joy and struggle in her life.  How utterly brave, selflessly brave, the young men and women were during the war.

NetGalley Review   Publication date 5.15.12

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