Code name Verity: the sad beauty of a complicated truth

Book Reviews, Literature

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.

Captured by the Gestapo, the charismatic Julia, nicknamed Queenie (also known as Verity), confesses everything – from the secret codes she was meant to use to help the French Resistance to everything else that she knew about the British Air Force and her own contribution to the capture of German double-agents. There is no hope for freedom or survival, and her dear friend Maddie is dead. Julia was shown the photographs of a badly-burned body in the cockpit of the fallen plane.

Halfway through the book, I still couldn’t get rid of the feeling that Code Name Verity could still be one of those supremely over-rated bestsellers, well-written, tragic, and yet somehow lacking in depth. One of the most baffling moment of the book is the realization that the narrator is, in fact, Queenie. That brave and beautiful Queenie that helped Maddie operate an anti-air gun during a Luftwaffe raid on their air base… It is hard to believe that the brilliant Scottish girl that charmed everyone around her was so easily broken by the Nazis. The opinion about Queenie starts to change dramatically towards the second part of the book. Then came an unexpected turn of events and absolute heartbreak. Tumblr readers promised tears, and, my, did this book deliver!

An intricate web of deeply human characters is hard to let go. Code Name Verity is a brilliant piece of literature, one that would grip your heart and make it difficult to catch your breath. 

Overall note: 5+


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