Odd Shelf: Code Name Verity

Since I am poor, a lot of my reading occurs via library access. I currently have cards for two public libraries (technically three, if you count my hometown two hours away) and my university library. I HAVE WAITED TWO MONTHS ON THREE WAITLISTS TO READ THIS BOOK.

And I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint.

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein


This is why, I’m telling you, word of mouth is still the most viable marketing strategy and the only way to truly succeed with word of mouth is to have a good book.

Let me explain. The book is set in WWII–and I do not care for war books. There are no speculative elements (le’sigh) and the primary relationship occurs between two best girl friends. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not what usually suits my fancy. But I was told it was a good book–I heard the name buzzing constantly among my literary circles–so by darn, I read it.

And it was so great. A book can be about anything, and if it’s well written, I will love it.

My primary personal attachment is to one of the main characters, Verity, who I so deeply admired I wished she was real so she could be one of my heroes. I suppose she still can be. (How troubling is it, on a psychological standpoint, to have fictional heroes??)

A brief summary: Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and adds in details of her life as a war prisoner.

So–while it was very well researched, the war details were uninteresting to me, but the story held weight for the beauty of its characters. The formatting is clever, without being gimmicky. And sentences, some lovely, lovely sentences.

It receives my full recommendation, as does everything I bother to post here.

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