Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in Verity's own words, as she writes her account for her captors.
©2012 Elizabeth Gatland (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Two aspects of this book make it an absolute joy to read: (1) the story itself, which is intriguing, intense, romantic, taught, unpredictable; and (2) the wonderfully developed narrative voices of the two main characters. Wein creates two distinct protagonists -- one Scottish, the other British -- and gives them fabulous dialogue (both internal and spoken). The main characters are all at once incredibly strong, yet highly vulnerable. They both assume the role of unlikely hero, which imparts in them a good dose of humility to balance out their swagger.
I loved both characters as performed by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell. I will say, though, that I was absolutely mesmerized by Christie's performance -- something about her Scottish affect and wonderful inflections made it almost impossible for me to press the "pause" button. I enjoyed Christie's performance so much that I chose my next audiobook (Burial Rights) almost exclusively because she narrates it. (fortunately, Burial Rights is developing into a really good book, as well).
If you're a fan of WWII fiction set in Occupied France and/or Britain (as I apparently am), you will love this book. It's a fast-paced, tightly woven, romantic, intriguing story that I found incredibly difficult to put down. And it will stay with you long after you finish it (that's the poignant part!)
This is a book set in World War II with great female main characters who are NOT just camp followers. They are primary actors – – a pilot and a spy. As impossible as that sounds, I've heard that such things happened, and the author makes it very very plausible. This was a great story, but it involves Nazis, so bad things do happen. Kind of a lot. But it's not all doom and gloom. This is one of those books that I recommend without reservation.
The story is about two girlfriends, and is told in two halves; during the first half you are just following along nodding and enjoying; and then the second half skips back in time again and follows the other friend telling the same story from her perspective, and you slowly start to realize the THE FIRST FRIEND WAS LYING in parts, and start to pick up why and how, it suddenly what you thought was just a good story turns into a multidimensional mystery I simply could not put down.
If you have the faintest interest in WWII historical fiction, flying airplanes, or interesting, strong characters, then I can't recommend this book highly enough. I picked it up on Audible and started listening on Sunday afternoon; could barely stop long enough to sleep and picked it up immediately again in the morning and listened till I was finished. The narrators Audible chose were brilliant as the story switches between Scottish and English accents flawlessly, taking you immediately into the story.
It's hard to talk much about the story without spoilers, but there are many plot twists, lots of suspense, moments that genuinely wrench the heartstrings, acts of great bravery, and you never quite know how anything will end for certain until the very last page. This is the first book I've enjoyed for years that left me feeling as bereft as if I'd lost a good friend when there was no more to it and I had to return to reality. Granted, I grew up reading Biggles books and I love the Connie Willis SF set in the WWII era, but I'd heartily recommend this to anybody.
The narrators of this book were fantastic and the story line was captivating. It was a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Physicist pretending to be an engineer.
There are so many things to love about Code Name Verity. The relationship between the two main characters is so believable, and the characterizations themselves are dead on; I want to be friends with them! But the twists and turns throughout the plot are masterfully written. Everything is related, but not in the ways you expect. Elizabeth Wein did an excellent job as a writer. For the Audible narration, the two women who read the book were fantastic. Really. They added another level of depth to the story, and again, quite dead on in their portrayals.
The description and portrayal of our first narrator's parachute jump into France that lands her in the position we find her in is wonderful. The emotion is so real and true. There are so many memorable moments, though. There's a scene near the end that is so raw with emotion that it will haunt you long after the book is complete.
The scene near the end that I mentioned above is probably my favorite, even though it's difficult to read and listen to simply because of the rawness of the event. I can't say exactly what happens as it will spoil the story, but you'll know it when you get there.
There were quite a few moments that made me laugh, but I was in tears by the end, both in reading the physical book and listening to the Audible version. The tears are worth it.
Code Name Verity is a gem of a novel. You won't regret the time you put into it, and it will stay with you long afterwards. I wouldn't be surprised if you immediately started a re-read once you finished.
Narrated by Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell - Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins. This is a WWII story, unique in that the lead characters are two women, a pilot, and a radio operator. One is captured by the Gestapo, tortured, and interrogated as a spy. During her capture, she writes what the Gestapo define as a confession, and it is actually a very long-winded and literary story of her friendship with the other female lead. There are thousands of ratings and reviews, average rating is well over 4 star.
It’s not that good, in my humble opinion. No spoilers, but there are a few circumstances in this story that simply wouldn’t have happened - some absurdly coincidental instances. I realize that it is fiction and the author is entitled to license - but - it’s not a good idea to force a reader to stretch beyond the conceivable unless the book is clearly SciFi. Also, it’s a bit of a chic-lit or young adult book, even though it is not a love story. This is about two young women who have a special friendship. Throw in the whole-world-is-collapsing-around-us-WWII stuff, and you have a unique bond.
Narration is disappointing. You will definitely have a problem discerning who is speaking at the moment - which one of the two? Rewind hell. The voices are not unique, even though one is from Scotland and the other Manchester.
I’m a bit flummoxed- the story and the narration do not warrant all the oohs and ahhs of the reviews posted to date. Not my cup ‘o tea.
This book ranks among my all time top 5 world war 2 novels. I agree with another reviewer who said any real review would automatically give away the plot. I can only say this story ranks very high and narrator did a superb job throughout.
one of the best
I listened to it while exercising. I couldn't wait to start my walks and sometimes they lasted a couple of hours because I enjoyed the book
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