Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Release Date: February 6, 2012
Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery.
Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity’s” own words, as she writes her account for her captors.
Verity is an upperclass Scottish girl, who has been captured by Nazis during WWII. She has to write down all of the information she knows about the war in England. She was captured when she was in a plane crash with her best friend, who has the codename Kittyhawk. Verity has to document her time in captivity, while knowing there is only one way her story will end, and she won’t survive it.
The details about the espionage in this story were fascinating. Some of the details that caused the spies to be captured were based on real events. They were caught due to small details, such as looking the wrong way when crossing the road. These minor details made the story exciting.
The format of this story was confusing. Verity told her story using her information about England, while also documenting what was happening to her in the present. Sometimes it was confusing to flip back and forth between the present and the past. She also used codenames and alternate identities for people in her story, and spoke about herself in the third person. The second part of the story was much easier to follow because it was told linearly. The story was difficult to figure out due to this unconventional format.
This story was interesting, but a little confusing due to the format.
What to read next:
They Went Left by Monica Hesse
The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein
Have you read Code Name Verity? What did you think of it?