Thursday, August 2, 2012
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Source: Kindle for iPad
Books I've read this year: 92
A British spy, Verity, is caught by the Gestapo in France and forced to tell her story. The story she tells, about two young girls, one of whom, Maddie, becomes a pilot, seems to have little to do with her own tale, but the Gestapo agent in charge is patient. As a reader, you have to be patient too, because the first hundred pages of the novel are pretty confusing. But gradually, there's an enormous payoff for a reader who is willing to live with the ambiguities of the story. As you would expect in a war story, there's hope and action and love and unthinkable loss.
At first, I didn't think the novel fit the YA parameters. After all, the main characters are adults. In fact, there are very few children in the novel. But now that a few weeks have passed since I finished reading, I actually like the classification. It's a book that will require more effort than, say, the latest Wendy Mass book, but it's also the kind of book that I desperately want my daughters to read. I want them to know about the struggles of women that have gone before, and how women like these characters had to make hard choices and be strong-- stronger than they even knew was possible.
I had heard that the book was a shocker and full of codes, so I spent the whole time I read looking for signs and symbols. Ultimately, I think that made the read less satisfying. I had a "that's it?" moment when I came to the end, but it was still a wonderful novel.