Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rose Under Fire

by Elizabeth Wein

The sequel to Code Name Verity is an equally compelling, wrenching account of World War II.  This time the prisoner we get to know is in a concentration camp.  As tough as it seemed Verity's battles were, Rose experiences and sees even worse.  Although this is a work of fiction, Wein has managed to continue the pleas of so many of the victims: "Tell the world."  This is only a sliver of insight into what happened to so very many people.

Rose is a young ferry pilot from the USA. By the standards of that war, she should never have been flying within range of the enemy.  Upon finding herself a prisoner of war, she follows instructions from the one English speaker she meets in order to be treated as humanely as possible.  As expected, translations, and huge masses of individuals simply create havoc which change her circumstances exponentially. 

Throughout her horrific explanations, the reader sees glimpses of hope.  Rose's memories of home, her boyfriend, and her primarily up-to-date account of the war give other prisoners something to cling to.  The sense of community and family many of them create give Rose opportunities to find strength when her own suffering threatens to overwhelm. 

No comments: