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Book Review: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Rose Code

If you enjoyed The Alice Network then you will probably enjoy The Rose Code. It is similarly brilliant historical fiction, set around WWII, with women at the centre of the story. Brilliant, brilliant women. It is likely Osla, Mab, and Beth would never have met and become friends had it not been for their postings at Bletchley Park. They come from different walks of life, they have different strengths, but my God they form a fierce trio and along with the rest of their BP friends they are a formidable group. 

Kate Quinn tells a different side of war. This isn’t about the front lines and the trenches, though they are given due mention. This is about the people left in England, the important work they did, and the life that goes on despite the war, because it has to. Taking lots of inspiration from real codebreakers and events of the war, Quinn weaves a gripping story of secrets, codes, friendships, romances, and betrayals. I was cheering on the BP crew as they spent hours on end decrypting coded German messages, smiling in moments of sweet romance, and crying with them through their heart wrenching grief. I enjoyed the little references to real people who worked at or visited BP in the war, like “The Prof” Alan Turing. 

Another storyline is worked in alongside the wartime story, in 1947 in the lead up to the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. In this we catch glimpses of where the trio of women are post-war, back in totally separate lives. The two storylines work really well together, with the 1947 parts carefully not revealing too much too soon so the story mostly unfolds through the war years, but eventually all wraps into a reunion in the 1947 time frame with one last code to crack.

The Rose Code is available in physical and electronic formats, book and audio. Also check out The Alice Network if you haven’t already, and look out for the upcoming The Diamond Eye which is due to be published soon.

Posted by Lara

 

9 March 2022

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