“I AM A COWARD…After the ridiculous deal I made with SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer von Linden, I know I am a coward. And I’m going to give you everything you ask, everything I can remember Absolutely Every Last Detail…Von Linden has said I have two weeks and that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort…I’m just damned. I am utterly and completely damned. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do, because that’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. After I write this confession, if you don’t shoot me and I ever make it home, I’ll be tried and shot as a collaborator anyway. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and this is the easy one, the obvious one…The others are too frightening to even look down.”
Elizabeth Wein, CODE NAME VERITY
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 why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
I found CODE NAME VERITY at the library with a yellow post-it note inside that said:
“THIS IS AN AMAZING BOOK!!”
I was so tickled by the note, I prepared myself for an absorbing war story told in an engaging way that must have a delightful ending–something along the lines of THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY.
CODE NAME VERITY is absorbing and engaging in every way.
It is also GUT-WRENCHING.
I was sick over it for days. Absolutely destroyed.
I walked around in a daze for a week and only just yesterday–after skim-rereading the novel–was able to acknowledge its absolute brilliance enough to be able to write this somewhat spoiler-y, half-coherent recommendation.
To prepare the next reader, I have added “Yes, but also GUT-WRENCHING!!” to the post it-note. It was my duty.
I give the book my highest recommendation.
Have you read CODE NAME VERITY? If so, I’d love your thoughts. I need to talk to someone. I’ll never get over it. If you haven’t, will you dare?