Friday, September 27, 2013

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

I love historical fiction and particularly enjoyed Elizabeth Wein's previous book, Code Name Verity. This follow-up book, which isn't a sequel but shares one character, was also a great read. Rose is a young American pilot working in Britain during World War II. She longs to fly to Europe instead of ferrying airplanes around the UK. On her first chance things go wrong and she is captured and sent to Ravensbrück, a women's concentration camp that I knew nothing about before reading this book. While there she is taken in by a group of women called the "rabbits" because they were the subjects of horrific medical experiments done by Nazi doctors. The whole concentration camp experience is awful, as you can imagine, but this book is so full of humor and humanity and daring that it is inspiring rather than depressing. I appreciated that the book did not end in the camps, rather it went on to show the aftermath for those who survived. This is a book about friendship and the power it can have to overcome the worst circumstances in the world. The best part of the book for me? Rose is also a poet who loves the poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Millay's poems are interwoven throughout the text as are poems that Rose writes. Elizabeth Wein, a pilot herself, is an outstanding writer and this is a must-read for historical fiction lovers. My review isn't going this book justice, so please see this review of Rose Under Fire as well.

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