Friday, 29 June 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
So, I did say there might be reviews. And here one is - Ta-dah!
This is a war story. And a torture story. Normally either of those two are firm no-no's for me. Combined, I would not touch them with a barge pole. Not even someone else’s barge pole.
 And yet. Code Name Verity was recommended by Maggie Stiefvater, and so on a whim  I got hold of a copy (yes, clearly I am that weak-minded and can be influenced to ditch my principles so easily). And I am so glad I did. Because, beyond the war and the torture, this is a story about friendship. Pure I'd-do-anything friendship.It's also a story of true grit and determination by girls, in a framework where to date, most accounts have been about men.  And smartly Wein doesn’t construct the female heroism to the detriment of the male characters, showing that it was a time where everyone could make the difference if they were brave enough to step up to the mark.
 I really don't want to say too much in fear of spoilers and depriving you of the joyous experience of being so well led by the writer. There came a moment where I recognised that I was firmly in Wein's control, and frankly I would have gone anywhere she took me. And that is a good sign for me. Followed by the desire to start it again as soon as I’d finished it. Those books don’t come along every day.
Not only did I love the book but it meant I was willing to read a second book about WW2, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, which was just charming, and reignited my interest in reading Epistolary novels.
Who’d have thought? From book-shunning, suddenly it was Book-tag. That's two prizes in one.

Today’s Distraction Tool; constantly checking the window to see if my delivery has arrived, given they say they’ll be here somewhere between 8am and 6pm. How usefully precise...

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