Rose Under Fire, while not a sequel to last year’s Code Name: Verity, is a companion book. The story again starts off in England during World War II and has an accomplished female pilot as its protagonist. This time she’s an American named Rose. The action begins about six months after the end of the first book when, by an unfortunate turn of events, Rose is captured by the Nazis and sent to the notorious all-women’s concentration camp, Ravensbruck. Her sheltered and somewhat naïve American outlook quickly changes as she comes to rely on the incredible resourcefulness, bravery, and loyalty of her fellow prisoners. Will that be enough to help them all survive? The final part of the book takes the reader through the post-war trials and the survivors’ attempts to rebuild their shattered lives. As with the first book, the Jewish content is not explicit (Rose and her companions are political inmates rather than Jews) although the topic itself is of obvious interest to Jewish readers. Wein’s description of this horrific camp is powerful and emotionally charged, and her characters are richly drawn, particularly the “Rabbits” — the young women who have been used for medical experiments. However, because it was preceded by the constantly vivid, surprising, and wholly original Code Name: Verity, this book seems far more conventional in story and construction. Still, though you might not be quite as swept away, you won’t be disappointed either.
Rose Under Fire
February 14, 2014
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