Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Spies get caught. Torture, confession. A wavy line between truth and lies. Betrayal. Friendship. A gruesome war that must be ended.
Divided into 2 parts, the first part of this book contains the written confessions of Verity, a Scottish woman radio operator, trained to be a spy, who is in Gestapo custody in France in Fall, 1943. She trades secrets like radio codes to be given backher clothes, even though she is still tortured but kept alive by Gestapo officer who forces her to write background of how she came to be in France. She gives details of her best friend Maddie, also a radio operator, who became a pilot and flew her to France for her mission. Other prisoners despise her as a collaborator. In part 2 the pilot Maddie starts by giving an account of landing her crippled plane in France after delivering Verity.
The best advice I can give readers is to be patient. Think of this plot as an onion, for the characters keep unfolding layers to the story, and nothing turns out to be as it seems. Only after reading the book all the way to the end did I understand the glowing reviews this book got when it was first published. I would ruin the plot by giving any more details except to say I would love to read it again, since there is more to appreciate in this book than a reader gets the first time through.
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson