Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (Review)


“Hope is the most treacherous thing in the world. It lifts you and lets you plummet. But as long as you’re being lifted you don’t worry about plummeting.”

Rose Under Fire takes place after the events of Code Name Verity. Rose Under Fire tells the story of an American ATA pilot and a poet, Rose Justice. While captured by the Nazis flying over France she is sent to Ravensbruck. There she experiences and witness intolerable hardship. However, Rose finds hope under the terrible circumstances in the friendship of her fellow prisoners.

This was so tragically beautiful. As a companion book to Code Name Verity, it was just as heartbreaking. I really did miss Julie, heart achingly so, particularly her narrative but Rose Justice is another perfectly sculptured and equally strong character. So, congratulations Elizabeth Wein, for making me love a character which you put through hell. It was also lovely to see some Maddie, and her life after Julie, and to see her happy ending (Well as close as she can get to it).

Rose Under Fire had the same affect on me as Code Name Verity as it stuck with me after I read it and I had an ache in my heart for all the characters. The reason I did was because they were beautifully written and they felt so so real. The bonds formed during the time at the camp was heartbreakingly sad and beautiful. It was so obvious how much research and heart went into writing Rose Under Fire, and it was horrible to think that everything else was so horribly real, except the characters, but their stories were real, there was “Rabbits” and Ravensbruck was real, and Elizbeth Wein has told the world.

Rose Under Fire is a book about bravery and the strength of friendship and how much courage that can give an individual to keep going. Rose is a character that you can love. You can see the change in Rose from the beginning of the book, and after her experience at the camp, but she didn’t let the camp and the experience be her, but to shape her, and I think that was a really brave thing to do. I also really loved the other characters – Roza, Irina and Karolina. I was so engrossed in Rose story that I could barely put it down and this is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

If you are a fan of historical fiction or loved Code Name Verity, which I am and I did, then you will love this, and possibly enjoy this; but not in the taking pleasure in reading it sense of the word because this book is sad and is brutally honest, but enjoy as in appreciating this work of art.

RATING: ★★★★★

Also, isn’t the cover just amazing? By far one of my favourite covers this year.


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