I am a coward. I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was.
–Elizabeth Wein - Code name Verity - c. 2012
Received free from NetGalley
“Verity” has been captured by the Germans. Held in a converted hotel in France she is tortured and forced to give up all her secrets. But in her confession and her report on all her secrets she begins to tell the tale of how she ended up at the mercy of the Nazis. How she and her best friend Maddie met, their path through the war and into active service. Even if Maddie technically shouldn’t have been the pilot of that plane. How they ended up crashing and how she has fared since becoming imprisoned.She writes that she is a coward and a traitor. That she wasn’t able to keep the truth from the Nazis. That she has betrayed her country.
And can I just say that she writes very convincingly. Yes, the plot device that leads her to writing her story is a bit forced, but nevertheless it works. She never goes into details about the torture and punishment that she undergoes, but you feel it nevertheless. The humiliation as well as the agony are obvious in what she doesn’t say as well as what she does.
I loved this story. Verity, not her real name of course, is wonderful. And Maddie is just so brilliant. I loved them both.
It might be slightly spoiler-ific of me, but I’m going to warn you anyway, this is Show Spoiler ▼
I’ve never read Elizabeth Wein before, but even before I was half way through this I had ordered a copy in for the library where I work, I hope people pick it up because I think that it is a hugely enjoyable story. And now that I’ve finished it I want to read more by Wein. Luckily it does seem that she has earlier books out so I shall have to investigate.