This is the kind of book that you love from the beginning, where you worry about where the characters will end up, where you love every twist and turn and revelation, and where you trust that no matter how gut-wrenching the ending, you’re in good hands with the author. Knowing and loving Wein’s series that begins with The Winter Prince, and knowing the basic premise of the story, I had faith from the beginning, despite some knuckle-biting about wondering how bleak the story would get. I don’t want to describe the story too much and spoil anything, but suffice it to say that while the world is very different from Wein’s earlier books, her grasp of character and story and mood is as distinguished as ever.
I was wondering, before I got very far into the book, what is is about WWII stories that captivates our imaginations so much. They’re everywhere – kids books, teen books, adult books, movies and TV shows and all kinds of storytelling formats. Part of the reason, I think, is that there are so many stories to be told, so many countries involved, so many types of work that needed to be done. There’s the battlefield and the political arena and the homefront for so many different countries. We know certain stories very well – soldier’s stories and Holocaust stories especially – but there are still seemingly infiniate variations on those.
This one has a bit of the soldier’s story, but these are women who weren’t and couldn’t be regular special agents or pilots, so there story has a bit more mystery. It’s also partly the story of the homefront, and partly of occupied France, and partly of codes and secrets and spies. It may sound cheesy, but it is also, above all, the story of a friendship – one that wouldn’t have happened without the war. It’s rare to read a YA book without romance being a significant plot point, but this certainly fit the bill.
Source: ebook from NetGalley.
Publication date: May 15, 2012. Worth the wait.