Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition Read: Paperback
Blurb: Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
A universally acclaimed Michael L. Printz Award Honor book, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.
Oh, this book! My heart!
I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but when I do, it seems to almost always be World War II related. Not sure why. This book had been on my radar for ages – it looks like I added it to my GoodReads TBR back in 2013 – which is why I really wanted to read it this year. I am so glad that I did. This was such an amazing story. Heartbreaking, as you can probably imagine, but so beautifully written, with the stories of the two main characters intricately woven together.
“Verity” is such a complex character, or at least very complexly written. She is a prisoner and being tortured for information, which she gives. It would be easy to look down on her for this, except really, how could anyone really judge her given what she is going through? What is amazing is how she is using her time with the Gestapo to give them a bunch of details that, while we find fascinating, doesn’t really help the Nazis all that much. You can’t help but admire her pluck and courage.
Maddie is the same way, although her journey is very different. She’s feisty, becoming an accomplished pilot at a time when that wasn’t something women did. She is determined to find out what happened to her friend and to try and further the cause no matter what. Their friendship is so beautiful to read, and even though you know that chances are slim that things will end well (for these two, at least – it is a war after all), you keep hoping and hoping throughout the book that they will be reunited. Which they are, sort of. I won’t say anything further than that.
This is one of those books that I truly believe everyone should read. It should be on all the school reading lists. It takes such a large scale conflict like a World War and humanizes it down to the fierce friendship between two young women.
GoodReads rating: 5 stars
Categories: Books I've Read