Author: Elizabeth Wein
One-sentence summary: A young British woman is captured as a spy in Nazi-occupied France during WWII, and her confession under interrogation begins the story of her best friend, a pilot, and what happened in their daring flight to France.
B.A.D. Girls Book Rating: 7
Our favorite thing about it: The mystery of what (really) happened to the girls after landing in France is interesting to read as it unfolds from both narrators.
Our least favorite thing about it: That the book is supposed to be about this awesome female friendship and the friendship is not properly developed so that you really care about it (at all).
Main Topics of Discussion: World War II, women (friendships, in the army, etc),
Our favorite quote: “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.”
Notes: Overall, we enjoyed reading this story and liked the characters. One of our favorite things about the book was the character of Julie. She was smart, funny, and strong. The more you found out about her, the more you liked her. Although parts of her journal were long and bogged down by tedious details about planes and flying, her voice was fun to read. Maddie’s part of the story was fun to read because she revealed what was really going on and tied up some loose ends for us. However, we never got a sense of a significant, fierce friendship between the two. We all agreed on this, and a book written about friendship – where the climax of the story relies on that friendship – should make that friendship believable. We felt this was the chief disappointment about the book. Had it been more powerful, some of the other things that bugged us might have been more insignificant.
But, we also loved learning about women as pilots and spies in England in WWII. The details about occupied France were also interesting and enlightening. We all love this era and have read several books about it. It seems that each book reveals more and more details from different perspectives.
We also felt that the pacing was a little off. The first part of the book goes rather slowly and the second half races to the end and glosses over some pretty big events. That’s how it felt to us, anyway. However, this really was a good read and we enjoyed it a lot.
Memorable Meeting Moments: We had a tea party in our pajamas
What We Ate: First Course: Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Tomato Pesto Sandwiches, Strawberry Arugula Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, Turkey and Brie Sandwiches with Vanilla Rooibos Tea. Second Course: Homemade Scones with Fresh Whipped Cream and Strawberry Preserves with Blueberry Green Tea. Third Course: Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, Lemon Tart, and Vanilla Almond Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies with Hot Cinnamon Spice Green Tea.