Friday, February 14, 2014

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity, #2)Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book for two reasons, with the first being it is the Goodreads February Discussion for Books Hot Off the Presses
and the second is my participation in the 2014 HUB Reading Challenge This book is on the list of the 2014 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults. Rose Justice is a transport pilot, who grew up outside Hershey, PA. It is during the war that Rose's plane is intercepted, she is captured by the Germans and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she is a prisoner for six months. Rose and the other captives (who are there much longer)endure beatings, torture, experimentation, and deprivation. It is during her imprisonment and after, as she recuperates in Paris that the full story emerges. What was so wonderful about this story was the "family" Rose formed while in Ravensbrück and it was these bonds that enabled them to endure and in many cases, survive. Wein weaves the importance of family throughout the whole book; with Rose's Hershey family, her pilot friends who are her family before her capture and the Rabbits, Lisette, Irina, Roza, Karolina and others who are her camp family. Rose uses her poetry and storytelling with her concentration camp friends to as a way to remember life before and survive each day whatever way they could. It is during her imprisonment (and after) with the Hamburg Ravensbrück Trials and the Doctors' Trial against Nazi war criminals that Rose emerges as a much stronger person; a writer and medical student, and is able to bear witness in her own way to the atrocities of the camp and let the world know the names of all 75 of the Rabbits who were maimed (and many killed) by Nazis due to their experimentation. Readers will love the women (pilots, survivors, and those who do not survive) in this book; their bravery, fury, compassion, defiance, craziness, and beauty. Highly recommended!

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