Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Wow.  This book stunned me.  What a fascinating look at WWII.  There are so many fiction stories from a variety of viewpoints and I've read quite a few from this time period but this is the first one that gave me insight into the role women played in the war.

I have a terrible summer cold and my chest hurts and I smell like Vick's-this book helped me get through a few sleepless nights.  I'd read a little then try to go to sleep, fail, then read a few more sections.  Invariably something would completely hook me and I'd have to read just ONE more section.  And then I wake up super groggy and still smelling like Vick's.

A sample:

We weren't allowed to talk to the pilots, either.  I made three jumps that week-the women do one less training jump than the men, AND they make us jump first.  I don't know if that's because we're considered cannier than men, or braver, or bouncier, or just less likely to survive and therefore aren't worth the extra petrol and parachute packing.  At any rate, Maddie saw me twice in the air and never got to say hello.
I got to watch her fly, though.
You know, I envied her.  I envied her the simplicity of her work, the spiritual cleanness of it-Fly the plane, Maddie.  That was all she had to do.  There was no guilt, no moral dilemma  no argument or anguish-danger, yes, but she always knew what she was facing.  And I envied that she had chosen her work herself and was doing what she wanted to do.  I don't suppose I had any idea what I "wanted" and so I was chosen, not choosing.  There's glory and honor in being chosen.  But not much room for free will.  (140)

Elizabeth Wein created an enviably strong friendship between these two young women characters and weaves an amazingly, intricate tale around them.  I know many have already read this one but if you haven't you must and it is best to read it fresh without a lot of blah-blah from reviewers/bloggers.

Find Elizabeth on twitter @EWien2412  and at her website.  Wein's new title, Rose under Fire, was released in June.

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