Code Name Verity Summary & Study Guide

Elizabeth E. Wein
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Code Name Verity.
This section contains 665 words
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Code Name Verity Summary & Study Guide Description

Code Name Verity Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity. London: Egmont, 2015. Kindle AZW file.

Code Name Verity tells the story of a British espionage mission in Nazi-occupied France during World War Two, from the perspective of two young women.

Part 1 is a confession written by an unnamed narrator being held prisoner in the Gestapo headquarters in the French town Ormaie. The narrator tells the story of how she came to be in France through an account of how she met her best friend, a young British woman named Maddie Brodatt. The narrator combines her story about Maddie with diary-style entries about her life in prison.

Maddie grew up in Stockport, a working class area of Northern England. She was raised by her grandfather who owned a motorcycle store. He gave Maddie her own motorcycle on the condition that she learned how to fix the engine herself. One day, Maddie witnessed a small plane crashing into a nearby field and she assisted in the rescue of its pilot, a woman named Dympna Wythenshawe. Maddie and Dympna became friends and Dympna assisted Maddie in learning about plane engines and gaining her pilot’s license.

After Britain declared war on Germany, Maddie joined the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce and was quickly promoted up the ranks due to her extensive knowledge of aviation. She met an upper class Scottish woman who the narrator refers to as Queenie. The narrator later admits that Queenie is the narrator herself. Maddie and Queenie became close friends. They were both recruited into the intelligence service: Maddie due to her aviation skills and Queenie because she was fluent in French and German. After the original pilot was injured in a car crash, Maddie ended up flying Queenie to a mission in France. Their plane was damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Queenie parachuted from the plane and has not seen Maddie since.

Meanwhile, in the prison, the narrator recounts the torture she has undergone at the hands of the Nazis. In order to stop the interrogations she has agreed to give them 11 sets of wireless code. The Nazis convince the narrator that Maddie was killed in the plane crash. The narrator agrees to participate in an interview with an American journalist named Georgia Penn who tells her that she is looking for the truth, using the words “I’m looking for verity.” The narrator witnesses the execution of another prisoner and finishes her confession by revealing that her real name is Julie and repeating the words “I have told the truth.”

Part 2 is told from the perspective of Maddie, who survived the plane crash and is now hiding in the attic of a farmhouse belonging to members of the French resistance. Maddie reveals that Julie’s mission in France was to destroy the Gestapo headquarters with dynamite. Maddie is given fake identification papers by the resistance and begins to circulate in Ormaie pretending to be German. Maddie meets with Georgia Penn who tells her that Julie showed no signs of wanting to be rescued from prison and that she remains committed to her mission. Maddie makes contact with a female guard from the prison, Engel, who tells her that Julie is being transferred to a concentration camp. The resistance tries to ambush the prison convoy but is unsuccessful. Maddie shoots Julie to save her from torture.

Engel gives Maddie Julie’s written confession from Part 1 and Maddie reveals that Julie lied throughout the document and did not reveal any classified information to the Nazis. Maddie realizes the confession contains coded instructions about how to destroy the building. With Maddie’s assistance, the resistance frees all of the prisoners and destroys the Gestapo headquarters. Maddie returns to Britain and sends Julie’s confession and her own diary to Julie’s mother. Julie’s mother tells Maddie that she did the right thing and agrees to keep the record of events in their family library.

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