Monday, September 16, 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The setting for this book is France and the British Isles during World War II.  The author is clear in the afterward that this is not based on a true story but that it could have happened.  There were women flyers, there were women spies.  SOE, ATA and other military organizations did exist.  A military spy plane crashed on arrival in Nazi occupied France.  Shortly thereafter pilot Maddie finds herself part of the resistance movement in France even carrying out the secret mission set for her friend who has been captured by the Nazi's.  Julie (code name Verity)  has bargained with the Nazi's.  She will give them information for her life.  It stops most of the torture.  Julie writes almost daily, almost all day long weaving tales with hidden meanings, the Nazi's don't understand and with information they surely already have or is slightly off.  Most of the story is Julie's in capture and all that she endured and her knowledge that she was sentenced to die and did not want to.  Then it switches to Maddie.  By this time the resistance has tried several times to get her out of France and now another friend is here as well.  They believe they know the Nazi's have Julie and where.  This is more than half way through the book and by then I fear many readers will  have lost interest.  But things are absolutely heart rending, riveting from here to the tragedy filled ending.  It is here one realizes how close a friendship Maddie and Julie had by the sacrifice Maddie makes.  It is here that attempts at rescue prove only partially successful.  It is here that Julie's original mission is successfully carried out.  This story got a lot of praise and I could not figure out why till I got very far in.  Give it a chance, stick with it till the end.  Its worth the wait.  Its not the first time I've had to wait for the pay off.  JDW 9/16/13

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