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Foreshadowing

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message 1: by Emily (new)

Emily Iizuka | 3 comments (I haven't gotten the hang of the spoiler tags yet... for now I'll just try to keep spoilers to a minimum.)

One thing I’ve noticed in my reading is how much a well-chosen snippet of poetry can add to a piece of fiction, and Robert Burns in CNV is a particularly good example. It also happens to be my favorite use of foreshadowing in a book that is absolutely thick with it.

Julie claims she’s only scrawling out verses from Burns to fool the guards (and she also implies that she wrote down a lot more poetry than we see in the book, but we can take that to mean the other pages were disposed of when Von Linden discovered what she was doing). However, the verses she picks imply that Maddie’s supposed fate is weighing heavily on her mind—she even changes a few of the words to make them fit the book’s situation more closely. There’s an element of (possibly sleep-deprived?) wishful thinking in her choice of quotation, since she has already been shown photographic evidence that Maddie is dead… and yet the wish she expresses through the poem miraculously comes true when Maddie later turns up not only alive, but unharmed!

Needless to say, both “My heart is sair” and the less familiar verse of “Auld Lang Syne” are now stuck in my brain like epoxy cement, and I’ll never have another New Year’s Eve without remembering this story.

I could cite dozens of other examples, but I probably missed plenty more (especially since I’m saving the rereading for when I have time to listen to the audiobook). Who else wants to point out a favorite instance of foreshadowing in CNV?


Alex | 5 comments ‘Poor young Jerry bastard,’ he intoned. ‘He won’t go home a hero, will he! Must have no sense of direction whatsoever.’

He put a kind hand lightly on the German-speaking wireless operator’s shoulder.

‘If you don’t mind,’ he said apologetically, ‘we could use your help questioning him.’

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Not really foreshadowing, but when we hear Etienne say "The pins go in your breasts if you're a woman", and then remember that Julie was wondering if the pins they left in here were causing infection... jeez. What a champ. I'm just speechless.

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Also recently read some material that said that low bodyfat would stop menstruation. Apparently highly athletic teenage girls, like gymnasts, experience this. I can see how Julie would go through this as well.

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Yeah... new year's and Auld Lang Syne will never mean the same to me again. In the audiobook, the narrator actually sings it quite well. I love the audiobook so much because of this. I've also been building up a playlist of sottish/era music from CNV, from The Last Time I Saw Paris, to bagpipe instrumentals. Beautiful instrument. Beautiful book.


Alex | 5 comments It’s awful, telling it like this, isn’t it? As though we didn’t know the ending. As though it could have another ending. It’s like watching Romeo drink poison. Every time you see it you get fooled into thinking his girlfriend might wake up and stop him. Every single time you see it you want to shout, You stupid ass, just wait a minute and she’ll open her eyes! Oi, you, you twat, open your eyes, wake up! Don’t die this time! But they always do.

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Shivers.

Also, the Blue Danube is a song, not a river like I thought from Julie's rant.

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You know, I speak German because I love German. What good was a degree in German literature going to do me? I was reading it because I loved it. Deutschland, das Land der Dichter und Denker, land of poets and thinkers. And now I will never even see Germany, unless they send me to Ravensbrück – I will never see Berlin, or Cologne, or Dresden – or the Black Forest, the Rhine Valley, the blue Danube. I HATE YOU, Adolf Hitler, you selfish wee beastie of a man, keeping Germany all to yourself. YOU RUIN EVERYTHING


Miriam (3rdragon) | 14 comments Mostly what I like is, I think, not strictly foreshadowing so much as just really subtle groundwork. Almost everything that shows up later was initially introduced in some little, unobtrusive way.

The Danube is in fact a river (map), but there's also a song, presumably written about the river. Julie would have been familiar with the music, which is likely why she phrased it that way.

Make sure you include Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture in your CNV playlist. It's never mentioned in the book, but The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is mentioned by name, and (from wikipedia) "the opening few minutes are played in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) while the character Clive Candy (Roger Livesey) is visiting his German friend Theodore "Theo" Kretschmar-Schuldorff (Anton Walbrook), who is currently residing in a prisoner of war camp in Hampshire." Also the Hebrides are in Scotland, and I believe E. Wein has mentioned in blog posts somewhere that it's part of her personal playlist for the book.


Alex | 5 comments Awesome, thanks!

Yeah, apparently Wein is (partly, if not mostly) a discovery writer too, so its cool that she was able to consciously tie loose threads from the beginning to later events. This is especially cool b/c she's writing a historical novel about a country she's not native to. She was able to distill so much information into a single sentence. (E.g, the SOE Secret Operations Manual, which she has a review for here on Good Reads. I suppose it helped in other, more obscure ways though!)

Yesssss, thank you for the music. I'm becoming quite a WWII fiend; I'm eating up era content at a prodigious rate, which is quite a change from my normal scifi/fantasy fare. I just finished Band of Brothers (wasn't impressed until the later episodes; where on earth do you find concentration camp actors?) and The Book Thief, which I greatly appreciated because it was from the German POV, something I haven't encountered before. Discovering how the "evil side" functioned is important - we're all human and fallible (von Linden).

She has a *blog*?!?! And it talks about MUSIC?!?!? Halp. So little time. So much content. I'm going to have to start reining in my fandom. Which I'll accomplish later... it's just so darn inspiring! I don't know about you, but I take notes about ways stories work, how authors construct them, and how readers digest them. The book may not change, but your perception of it certainly can. The file I have on CNV is quite... intense. And thanks to you, still growing!


Alex | 5 comments Wiki on Anton Walbrook:

"In 1936, he went to Hollywood to reshoot dialogue for the multinational The Soldier and the Lady (1937) and in the process changed his name from Adolf to Anton. Instead of returning to Austria, Walbrook, who was gay[3] and classified under the Nuremberg Laws as "half-Jewish" (his mother was Jewish),[4] settled in England and continued working as a film actor..."

Hitler kinda ruined the name Adolf for everyone, didn't he, the selfish wee beastie. Doesn't help that Walbrook was part of *two* minority groups that Hitler persecuted.


Tori (tiboribi) | 3 comments Mod
Alex wrote: "Yesssss, thank you for the music. I'm becoming quite a WWII fiend; I'm eating up era content at a prodigious rate, which is quite a change from my normal scifi/fantasy fare. I just finished Band of Brothers (wasn't impressed until the later episodes; where on earth do you find concentration camp actors?) and The Book Thief, which I greatly appreciated because it was from the German POV, something I haven't encountered before. Discovering how the "evil side" functioned is important - we're all human and fallible (von Linden)."

You should add The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp to your Netflix Queue immediately, it is Julie's favorite movie and it stars her celebrity crush. You might also be interested in reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society; it is about life on Guernsey during the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands, and while the Germans are still absolutely definitely the villains of the piece, you see that some of them have human sides. As, you know, would in fact make sense.

She has a LiveJournal which she posts to sporadically. She talks about music occasionally, she talks about flying more often. There are also pictures of Barbies from Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire (and once you have picked yourself up from crying over Verity, you should go get Rose and sob your eyes out) that were done for her by a friend.


Miriam (3rdragon) | 14 comments She also does occasional guest posts, especially when she has another book coming out. There were a whole bunch when Rose Under Fire was released. Those tend to be more formal, thought-out blog posts. Mostly they're about writing, WWII, and sometimes flying, but there are also specific topical ones.

Many of these are linked from her livejournal. Twitter probably has a more complete list, but it's harder to go back and find them.


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