Book: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
I actually tried to download this book from NetGalley months ago, and it didn't work. When I clicked on it... no book! I waited and tried again. I tried all sorts of other things, short of sending in a complaint, but no luck. The book was just not there.
Oh, well. I figured I could just get later from the library and just do my review later than my norm.
Then one day, it was just suddenly there on the Kindle! I have no idea what's going on, but it's just one of those magic Kindle things! I was so glad though, because I truly did want to read this one, even though from the reports I'd been hearing, it might be hard.
And yes, hard it was. Actually, it took me a few pages to get into the flow of this writing again. It's a little on the different side. I understood after a moment, that this book does tie into Code Name Verity in that the main character Rose, is friends with Maddie from the first book. And Maddie, and also Julie, are mentioned a few times, but then, it's all Rose.
She, like Maddie, is also a pilot during WWII. Her job is to transport this and that. D-day has happened, but the war has not been won. Allied forces are slowly but surely gaining control of France and spirits are up.
Then, one day, she is flying over France on her way back to home base and she gets a bit sidetracked. I will not tell you why or what happens, but I will tell you that she is captured and ends up at a women's camp in Germany. Remember the place where the "doctors" were later tried in Nuremberg for war crimes and experimenting on prisoners? Yeah, that place. (It's called Ravensbruck. I also think this may be the same camp Corrie Ten Boom tells us about in The Hiding Place.)
Then most of the book is her recounting this horrific experience. The bonds she forms, the friends she makes, the women she comes to trust is the truth and power of this story. The terrible things that happen are so very hard to read about, but the strength and fortitude we see in these women is thing we are meant to remember.
Just like Code Name Verity, this book is written with over the top emotion and images that you won't soon forget. The characters are amazing. It's just simply a wonderful book, a terrible moment in history, but a wonderful way to portray it.
Bottom line: I loved it. I was riveted.
Is it worth your while to read “yet another Holocaust novel”? Yes, I think it definitely is. From Rhapsody in Books
But, it is also clear that Wein has really done her research on Ravensbrück Concentration Camp and should you wonder, and as she stresses in the Afterword, it really did exist and so did the Rabbits. From The Children's War
I was glad that the concentration camp stories are told after the fact — all that horror, but at least there is the comfort that we know our main character is writing this at the Ritz in Paris. From Joy's Book Blog
I would say it’s one of those books that truly shows the triumph of the human spirit, cliche as that makes me sound — because even when the circumstances are terrible, people still manage to love and to hope and to be good. From Good Books and Good Wine