Wednesday 18 September 2013

Rose Under Fire

Finished September 18
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wien

Rose Justice is a young American woman flying with the ATA during the later years of World War II. Her father ran a flight school in the US, and she had been flying from a young age. In the ATA she works with Maddie, a young woman we met in the book Code Name Verity. Rose is independent and enthusiastic and with an uncle high up in the War Ministry, she gets some opportunities others don't.
When she gets the chance to fly her uncle to Paris after the city was liberated, she jumps at it, and agrees to ferry a plane back to Britain afterward. But on her trip back, something goes wrong and she ends up captured and taken to Ravensbruck, one of the German's concentration camps.
While Rose is a fictional person, the story of Ravensbruck is not, and the author uses many historical sources to ensure that the story told her is accurate in its fact. This part of the story is difficult and one of the things that helps the reader through it is the knowledge that Rose does survive her experience. The author deliberately limits Rose's knowledge to that which a woman in her situation would be aware of, not giving the full experience of the atrocities of the camp. One other thing that helps the reader through this story is the amazing attitude of the camp victims, the fight they exhibit, the ways of working around the limitations and the cruelties and the risks they take to survive. The small daily rituals, and ways they have of buoying each other up and the small delights they find in their very limited lives.
Rose also writes poetry and the poems written during her time in Ravensbruck and shared with her fellow prisoners there evoke more than the text descriptions, putting the emotion into the experience.
A wonderful book that brings history alive.


  1. I'll be getting this one, I loved Code Name Verity.

  2. I'm dying to read this one since I loved Code Name Verity. Glad to see you enjoyed it!

  3. I haven't read Code Name Verity but I really hope to soon!