Author: Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 6th June 2012 (1st published 6th Feb 2012)
Time: 10hrs 7mins
Narrator: Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
Book Source: Own audio
Synopsis: Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
I'm late to Code Name Verity. Even though I bought the book a year or so ago, for some reason I never got around to it. Then someone recommended it on audio and that was all the incentive I needed.
Code Name Verity is a complex, emotional tale. Don't be lulled into inattention or distraction by the slow-ish, almost baffling start, (is it less so, in print?) it requires careful listening to pick up the truths. Pay attention and you'll be richly rewarded.
The bond between 'Verity' and Maddie is something special, it resonated, had me in tears, made me laugh and ugly cry ... sometimes at the same time ... not pretty. Verity is arrested and interrogated, with two weeks to write her confession ... she tells their story. The constant wondering about Verity's reliability as a narrator (after all, she's being tortured) kept me off balance, it's heartbreaking and surprisingly funny and yes a little weird to find myself sniggering and laughing but oh I loved her sense of humour.
Narrators Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell bring 'Verity' and Maddie to life, it's a story that never feels like it's being 'read.' Morven Christie in particular is superb, her accents, inflections and emotions are spot on.
Code Name Verity is one I'll read again, as much for all that complexity wrapped in
deceit, misdirection, secrecy ... argh wish I
could think of the right word ... as for the beautiful story of friendship,
loyalty and courage.
Next up, with box of tissues in hand, Rose Under Fire, the companion novel to Code Name Verity. It shares some of the same characters and takes place shortly after Code Name Verity finishes.
Connect with Elizabeth Wein
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: 15th April 2014
Time: 15hrs 44mins
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Book Source: Own audio
Synopsis: As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down - not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend 's Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients ' extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.
But when she witnesses a possible murder-suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as Lila knows it takes a dramatic turn.
Artist Ashton Archer knows his charming, clever, and impulsive brother couldn't have killed his girlfriend - or taken his own life. His hope of unraveling what happened lies with Lila, the only eyewitness. And even buried in grief, Ash longs to paint the woman whose deep, dark eyes seem to hold endless reserves of strength and a fiery passion.
Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession…
Nora Roberts' The Witness (2012) was a 5 star listen for me this year so I just had to have The Collector on audio. I loved Julia Whelan's narration in The Witness so ... can't really go wrong ... right?
I'm pretty good at suspending belief, this is after all fiction, but I did find the whole professional housesitter/writer (Lila) and artist (Ash) chasing down a contract killer, implausible and just a bit ridiculous. Baddie killing off the hero and heroine for their sheer stupidity would have been more realistic ... oops did I say that out loud.
That aside, I quite liked people-watching Lila and teapot poodle Earl Grey earns this one extra cuteness points. And for a lengthy book it doesn't drag at all ... good job on the narration Jennifer Whalen.
Despite some eye-rolling this was actually an enjoyable, easy listen, I didn't dislike the story but I didn't bother catching up on the few missed minutes ... grr annoying telemarketer.
Recommend: hmm ... doesn't come close to The Witness