Code Name Verity Review

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein takes readers back to World War Two, following the clandestine operations of the British Royal Air Force pilots and deep cover agents in France. It follows the stories of Maddie, a pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, and her best friend, a radio operator turned spy for the British. As the crisis in France escalates, Maddie is given the chance to do much more than transport aircraft. More and more of her assignments are marked with an “S,” signifying classified Royal Air Force special duties – passengers, locations, and schedules all remain secret. After battling broken planes, bad weather, and bombings, Maddie is chosen for her longest – and most dangerous – flight yet. And her classified passenger? Her best friend, being transported deep into danger, with another name and face to match her mission. However, their journey was never full of clear skies. Told through Maddie’s journal entries and her friend’s testimony as a prisoner of the Germans, Code Name Verity spins out a surprising tale of secrets, lies, disappearances, and discoveries, from which no one emerges unharmed. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new approach to the World War 2 novel. Its emphasis on women’s role in the war sheds a wonderfully interesting and fresh light on many people who went largely forgotten in the typical tale of male valor in combat. Wein gives her readers just enough information to understand the story, holding back secrets just as the members of Britain’s Special Operations pilots and spies had to, making this book a compelling, roller-coaster account of clandestine missions in enemy territory.