Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

A captured British spy in Nazi-occupied France writes a confession of her espionage activities and deep friendship with a female pilot.


"Code Name Verity" by Elizabeth Wein is a gripping historical fiction novel that takes place during World War II. The story is centered around the friendship between two young women, Maddie and Queenie, who become involved in espionage and resistance activities. The novel explores themes of bravery, friendship, and sacrifice, as the characters navigate the challenges of war and the impact it has on their lives.

Brief Synopsis

The novel is set during World War II and follows the story of two young women, Maddie and Queenie, who become involved in the war effort in different ways. Maddie is a pilot, while Queenie is a wireless operator. The two women are captured by the Gestapo and their friendship is put to the ultimate test as they struggle to survive in the face of danger and betrayal.

Plot Overview and Setting

The story is mainly set in England and France during World War II. The novel captures the tense and dangerous atmosphere of the war, as well as the courage and resilience of the characters as they navigate the challenges of espionage and resistance activities.

Main Characters

The main characters in "Code Name Verity" include:

QueenieA young Scottish woman who becomes a wireless operator and is captured by the Gestapo.
MaddieA pilot and close friend of Queenie who becomes involved in espionage activities.
JulieQueenie's real name, she is forced to write a confession for the Gestapo.
EtienneA pilot and member of the French resistance who helps Queenie and Maddie.

Story Points Over Chapters

The story unfolds through the following key points:

Part One: Verity

In this section, Queenie, who is also known as Verity, is captured by the Gestapo after her plane crashes in France. She is forced to write a confession detailing her involvement in espionage activities. Through her writing, she recounts her friendship with Maddie and the events leading up to her capture.

Part Two: Queenie

This part of the novel provides insight into Queenie's experiences as a wireless operator and her interactions with the Gestapo. She struggles to maintain her composure and resilience in the face of captivity and interrogation.

Part Three: The Pilot

This section focuses on Maddie's perspective and her involvement in the war effort as a pilot. Maddie's narrative sheds light on her friendship with Queenie and her determination to help her friend in any way she can.

Part Four: England

In the final part of the novel, the story comes full circle as the fates of Queenie and Maddie are revealed. The narrative explores themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and the enduring strength of their friendship.

Main Events

The main events in "Code Name Verity" include:

  • Queenie's capture by the Gestapo
  • The confession she is forced to write
  • Maddie's involvement in espionage activities
  • The revelation of the true extent of Queenie and Maddie's friendship
  • The impact of the war on their lives and the choices they make

Themes and Insights

"Code Name Verity" explores several themes and insights, including:

  • Friendship and loyalty in the face of adversity
  • The impact of war on individuals and their choices
  • Courage and resilience in the midst of danger and betrayal
  • The sacrifices made in the name of duty and friendship
  • The enduring strength of the human spirit in the face of hardship

Reader's Takeaway

Readers of "Code Name Verity" will be captivated by the powerful and emotional narrative that unfolds through the perspectives of Queenie and Maddie. The novel offers a thought-provoking exploration of friendship, sacrifice, and the human experience during wartime. The story's rich historical detail and compelling characters make it a must-read for anyone interested in historical fiction and stories of courage and resilience.


In conclusion, "Code Name Verity" is a deeply moving and poignant novel that captures the harrowing experiences of two young women during World War II. Elizabeth Wein's storytelling weaves a tale of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice that will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. The novel's exploration of the human spirit in the face of danger and betrayal makes it a compelling and memorable read for anyone interested in historical fiction and stories of courage.

Code Name Verity FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'Code Name Verity'?

    Code Name Verity is a historical fiction novel.

  2. Who is the author of 'Code Name Verity'?

    The author of 'Code Name Verity' is Elizabeth Wein.

  3. What is the setting of 'Code Name Verity'?

    The book is set during World War II in Nazi-occupied France and England.

  4. What is the main theme of 'Code Name Verity'?

    The main themes of the book include friendship, loyalty, bravery, and the impact of war on individuals.

  5. Is 'Code Name Verity' suitable for young adult readers?

    Yes, the book is often categorized as young adult fiction, but it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.