Dearest Lady Julia,
Now I have multiple options but I shall address you with the title Ellen used to tease you. I have met a handful of fictional characters, but my darling Davie Balfour none has ever enchanted me like you did.
Is it strange for me to fall in love with your manipulation and selfishness of taking, though Ellen did a fine job at that by teaching you more about giving? But I wonder whether your calling out to Maddie on the bridge and making her fire that shot was giving or taking? I wonder if you gave her chance to save herself from witnessing the cruelty about to fall on her best friend or if you took her soul by forcing her to end your horror.
O Julie! I wonder if Ellen ever found out what happened to you. I keep imagining her reaction to the death of the girl she had the crazy Sherlock Holmes kind of summer with. I wonder if Maddie and Ellen ever came face to face and if they did what they talked about. I picture them sitting over a cup of tea talking about how stubbornly mysterious you were. Jamie sitting next to them looking at them and missing his favorite sister.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get more of you from the author but boy am I glad for the prequel. I try to picture you as Therese Belivet only more confident, cunning, gorgeous and mysterious.
I’ll always miss you Julie.
Sometimes after reading a book I wonder what if things had gone down differently. What if, one of the characters had done something differently or the protagonist had walked away from something? I, often, wonder about an alternate ending and I don’t know why.
SPOILER AHEAD (for The Girl On The Train, Code Name Verity and The Boy In The Striped Pyjama)
Imagine if “The Girl On The Train” wasn’t about Rachel obsessing and witnessing the life and death of Megan Hipwell. Imagine if, it was a story of how both the women meet and swap their lives only to help each other get over the issues. I picture Rachel seeing Megan and envying her happy life, while Rachel looking at the train everyday with same feeling about happy passengers passing by everyday. And then one fine day, they meet maybe in bar, get to talking and realize how they both see each other at the same time, at that particular time when the local train passes Tom’s street.
Little drunk and emotional enough to spill things out they become friends and realize that none of them is actually happy, that the grass always looks greener on the other side. And in the end each one gets something. Maybe Megan ends up helping Rachel fight her alcohol addiction and get a job or meet someone new; at the same time Rachel ends up helping Megan walk out of her strange marriage and deal with her own issues caused by loss of the brother.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been a thriller then and probably not many people would even like it. Yet, I can’t help but wonder…
what if, there was no murder and it was just a story of two twisted women who become friends and fix each other, instead of one dying and other ending up in the suspicion of being the killer.
I had the same thought of alternate ending about my personal favorite “Code Name Verity”, though I would not change a single thing about the book even page 285 because that’s what made it a heartbreaking story. But I wonder if things had gone differently on that one page on that bridge, how would have the story ended.
Imagine if Maddie hadn’t fired her gun. I try to picture that but I wonder if that would have made the book as good as it is now.
I mean you wouldn’t be swearing on the brilliance, and the intensity, of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas if he hadn’t walked inside the fenced area and followed his friend into those chambers. I try to picture, what if he hadn’t but then what would be the story about?
There is a reason why something happens in a story, even if every part of our body wants to jump inside the scene and shake the protagonist begging her/him to not do something or walk into something.
It was a good weekend, because I had one of those very rare family movie day where I actually watch a movie in a theatre with my whole family. It’s a very rare phenomenon and very exhausting one but it always makes me feel a little happy, because of the very fact that we don’t do it much.
Apart from the family movie, I have had a weekend where I have spent lazy moments on my sofa with my book. Just pure laziness and book reading. I wrapped up Rose Under Fire.
This is my second Elizabeth Wein book, after reading Code Name Verity I fell in love with her writing. Rose Under Fire starts where Code Name Verity ends, so of course I was expecting to read more of Maddie but this one wasn’t about my favourite pilot Maddie, this was about another pilot who loves poetry as much as I love escaping into day dreams.
I admit, at one point when I realised it wasn’t about Maddie I felt little disappointed because a part of me still lives in page 285 of Code Name Verity but then soon I was drawn into Rose’s Ravensbrück journey.
This one is about French Political Prisoner 51498 with no French and Roza and Irina and Karolina and Lisette and Elodie and even Angel of Death Anna. My favourite scene was when they had to force Roza into that plane. Hard to believe that the worst pain in neck Roza, who wouldn’t even get scared when her name came on list, cried over a plane ride. O sweet snappy Rabbit.
O God! This was one of the most heartbreaking Concentration Camp fictions I’ve ever read. This wasn’t about Jewish prisoners; it was mostly about the other captives the political prisoners, the German criminals, the polish, the Russians and the French. The spys, the pilots, the rabbits.
I fell in love with crazy Roza, even more than the protagonist also named Rose. My heart broke when Maddie said Julie would have died there. O Julie!
Anna’s character was fiction but it wasn’t all that a story. People did terrible things in war but some of them were just unwilling participants who had no way out. Anna’s character kind of reminds me of this 93 years old Nazi guy on trail Oskar Gröning. Real story.
TELL THE WORLD
How they all longed to tell the world and even now the trail of Auschwitz SS Guard Oskar Gröning is about countering the Holocaust deniers. TELL THE WORLD.
My heart aches for the names on the wall of those camps across German captured cities. And those who were never reported or documented or failed to get mourners because no one knew they died there. I’m just glad Eiffel Tower survived it all. My obsession with concentration camps or holocaust is largely because I feel that so many vanished and went away but no one would know their names, stories or who they were before being gassed, incinerated or shot or turned into lifeless corpse resulting starvation or diseases. Pilots, soldiers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, kids and just harmless sympathizers of those being erased.
Oh Julie, Oh Julie
I haven’t been able to get these words out of my head since last night, since I finished reading Code Name Verity. I have never cried so much over a book, never. In fact, I couldn’t manage through last 47 pages without sniffing and crying and sobbing. Page 285 broke my heart forever, I don’t think I can ever recover from it.
I remember going to bed with tears in my eyes when I finished Moon at Nine, but I don’t remember crying this bad on any book.
Oh Maddie, Oh Maddie
Elizabeth Wein has written a master piece with everything from WWII, Nazis, true friendship, time testing love, courage, revenge, death and loss, all weaved so beautifully into words that ripped through my heart. I dont know if she got enough credit for this one. I would like to tell her what a lovely piece of fiction she has given to us.
Dear Elizabeth Wein,
I have no idea if you relate more to Maddie or Julie or the poor Engel, I don’t know who was your favorite character when penning this book down, I don’t know if you cried as much as I cried when that bus was on that bridge and I don’t know if I can ever get these names and people out of my head, but I do know you have done a bloody too good a job with the story, the characters, the name, the emotion and thrill.
Just want to thank you for letting me meet Queenie and Maddie.
Just a fan of your book,
If the story and drama wasn’t enough, this book has some amazing lines and oh the humour…
It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend
Till last page, I hoped, I prayed, I begged. But…Oh Maddie, Oh Maddie.
I am not good with reviews, never have written any so all I can say is that Code Name Verity is one fine piece of historical fiction with enough drama, action, pain and emotions to change your life. All I can say is READ IT, READ IT.
It was around 2 o’clock when I decided to finish this one chapter and sleep but when I reached that one page I couldn’t sleep, how could I. I knew I had to finish it now.
Fly the plane, Maddie
Even if it meant spending my Friday with my head in my hands and a burned out brain. I did spend spend my Friday like a zombie but I couldn’t help it.
Damn! You Nazis. In every book, you make my stomach churn but this time you went way too far. Dammit.
There 4-5 books that i would re-read again and this one goes on the top of the list.