Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Posted April 30, 2014 by shooting in Uncategorized / 21 Comments

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Review by Lauren

copy from my sister; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Review: I actually read this book about a month ago, but I decided to hold out on reviewing the book until Holocaust Remembrance Week. Rose Under Fire is the companion novel to the wonderful Code Name Verity (my review here) and they are both books that should be recognized this week for heartbreakingly realistic stories about young girls fighting in WWII. I would recommend reading Code Name Verity first though, as important plot points are mentioned in Rose Under Fire.

However, back to the book at hand. I obviously loved the latest by Elizabeth Wein and I honestly cannot tell you what book is my favorite. Both of these focus on young women thrust into horrible situations in which they must draw on their own strength and courage. Rose Under Fire is the only one that focuses on concentration camps in depth though, and I find it most fitting for this week. Rose is the definition of the idea that bravery isn’t about not being scared, but being scared and still fighting. Rose is terrified and fully believes that she will not survive Ravensbrück, the women’s concentration camp she ends up in.

Despite that, she finds herself growing close to the other girls in her bunk, who they call Rabbits, as they were experimented on in the name of science by the Nazis. She fights back in her own way. She does what she can to keep hers and others spirits up, especially by using her talent of creating poems. She can’t write them down, but she can write them in her head and recite them aloud. These poems are wonderfully done and included throughout the book. It doesn’t take long when reading this book to learn the fate of Rose, but I still don’t want to reveal it here. It’s always better to find that out for yourself, so be sure to read this book before anything truly big is spoiled.

Overall, this was a beautifully written book. It is easy to read, in terms of the writing, yet difficult to read, in terms of the emotion. This is a fictional book, but things like this did happen during WWII and that thought is always with you as you read. You are horrified by the things that occur in this book, but it’s not a fantasy book you can feel safe from. Holocaust Remembrance Week is an important event, but this period in our history is never forgotten and books like Rose Under Fire continue to show new generations just why it should always be remembered.

21 responses to “Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

  1. I'm so glad you've reviewed this book I have Code Name Verity to read and I really want to read this one too now. An excellent review with a sentiment I totally agree with. Thank you!

  2. A fan of historical fiction anyway, I also have a special interest in books set in such camps. As you say it cannot be an easy read but I so often think that even though the characters may be fictional the story is every bit as poignant and important lest we forget the horrors.

  3. I still need to read Code Verity. I have read plenty of books and watched lots of movies on the Holocaust and they still terrify me. Such a horrific event in history. I actually visited a Concentration Camp: Dachau. It was chilling.

  4. Like Tanja, I couldn't get into either of the books although I usually like historical fiction. Maybe the WWII era isn't for me! Glad you liked this one!

  5. Oh wow! This sounds like such a fantastic and emotional book. I loved how you said that "Rose is the definition of the idea that bravery isn't about not being scared, but being scared and still fighting". What an inspirational character! Thanks so much for sharing your great review!

  6. I read (and absolutely loved!) Code Name Verity when I read it a little while ago, but I haven't gotten around to Rose Under Fire. Definitely going to have to start it ASAP though because your review is just gorgeous! <3 Thanks for sharing Lauren!

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  7. I actually still need to read this one! Surprising considering how much I loved Code Name Verity… but as you say, it's a difficult read in terms of emotion so I've been waiting for the right time. I'm so glad you appreciated this one so much, Lauren! Nicely reviewed.

  8. I really enjoyed this book too. I was absolutely horrified by so many things, and I'll probably never forget some of the images (the rabbits) again. Lovely review!

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