Having read Elizabeth Wein's other novel, Code Name Verity some time ago, I decided to pick up Rose Under Fire and it does not disappoint. Wein is a masterful storyteller and researcher and she uses her skills to tell stories of a different war front: that of the women in World War II. Rose Justice from Pennsylvania is chosen by the RAF (Royal Air Force) to ferry planes across enemy lies to support the Allies' war efforts. Rose's plane is eventually intercepted and shot down--resulting in her becoming a prisoner of the Nazis. She is sent to Ravensbrück, the women's concentration camp. There she meets young women that are under the scrutiny of the Nazi Doctors who conduct expiriments on them. These "Rabbits" are strong women with little to no hope left in them. Together the ladies form a strong bond and trust in one another and foresee an inevitability of their release by Allied forces. This novel is amazing, intellectual and inspiring. Perfect for young historians! -- Reviewed by Books Inc. SFO
This book was so good, I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it. It’s loosely based on a few true stories. One storyline is drawn from the recent story about an all-girls school near Boston where students started having mysterious fits, and the other is drawn from the circumstances which led to the Salem Witch Trials. And as if that isn't enough, the author is a direct descendent of three of the women who were accused of being witches during the madness in Salem. This narrative is split between two main characters -- Coleen Rowley, who is a student at the school where girls start having fits, and Ann Putnam, one of the teenagers who claimed she was bewitched. It’s perfectly written -- all the teenage voices feel authentic. Even at the end of this book, I was left wondering about the cause of all the madness in both storylines.
Wunder’s Probability of Miracles is one of my favorite books of all time. Her ability to capture the fleeting, ephemeral quality of youth is both beautiful and devastating. Museum of Intangible Things focuses on Hannah and Zoe, two best friends who are complete opposites. Hannah is sensible, hard-working, and “average” in the looks department. She owns her own hot dog cart, peddling sausages by the highway or at soccer games to the locals. Her parents are divorced, her father is an alcoholic, and her mother is manic-depressive. Zoe is bipolar. She’s creative, beautiful, sensitive, carefree, and completely unstable. After something terrible happens to Zoe at a party, she drags Hannah on a road trip across the country. Along the way Zoe teaches Hannah how to truly live. Museum of Intangible Things is heartbreaking and real. I dare to say Wendy Wunder is my favorite contemporary author and she truly amazes me with everything she writes.