Author Elizabeth Wein has put so many twists and deceptions into this fascinating tale that it’s hard for me to review it without giving anything away. At the end of the book there are “Ah Ha!” moments that compelled me to go back and review some events with newfound understanding.
The book opens with the wireless operator pouring out her story on scraps of paper provided by her Nazi captors. She has agreed to write it all down in exchange for less torturous treatment, not anything cushy and comfortable, mind you, just a little less cruel. Wein doesn’t dwell on the torture but she doesn’t avoid it either. It’s a necessary part of the book, but is not described in so much detail as to greatly torment the reader.
Queenie writes of her shame for giving away secret radio codes, and also comments about her current imprisonment, but mostly she writes of the events leading up to her plane crash in Nazi-occupied France with Maddie at the controls. Where is Maddie? Missing and presumed dead.
About half way through the book, Queenie gets to the end of her tale and Maddie’s part of the story is told. And here I must stop, and you must read for yourself to find out what really happened.
This WWII historical novel is also a story of best friends from very different worlds. Their paths might never have crossed if not for the war, but once they become friends there is no parting them.
Code Name Verity is suggested for ages 14 and up… way up. There is enough history and intrigue in there to keep adults entertained, and if you like airplanes there are plenty of those, too.