The Rose Code by Kate Quinn is a historical fiction that is difficult to put down. It is about Bletchley Park, the location of the code breakers in the UK during WWII. The history is fascinating, though I must say I have trouble understanding how these code machines work.
(Video of the Enigma Machine: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CspaXNkC2ec
(Video of Bombe Machine: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH2H7v4HTJ4
But what I love about Quinn's book, more than the history, are her characters. Although I opened this newsletter with It's Time to Meet Beth, there are three main characters you won't want to miss. Osla is a pretty, rich girl who society sees as a decoration and empty-headed despite her ability to speak two languages fluently. Mab, short for Mabel, is a very poor London woman who intends to pull herself out of poverty despite a secret that she feels could ruin her. And Beth.
Beth is a spinster who believes she is below average. Until the war, she believes she will always live at home and be "mummy's little helper." But then, she meets Osla and Mab and discovers she can solve puzzles - the kind of puzzles code breakers solve and becomes one of the few women cryptanalysts.
The story focuses on the war and the codes, but it also focuses on the friendship between these three women from completely different backgrounds and with completely different reasons for going to Bletchley Park. It also explores what secrets and war can do to friendships.
Plus, just to make it better, there is love, scandal, intrigue, an insane asylum, and a ... traitor!
I loved this book from beginning to end. If you've read it, let me know your thoughts. If you haven't, definitely put it on your TBR list.
Teri M Brown, author of An Enemy Like Me and Sunflowers Beneath the Snow connects readers with characters they'd love to invite to lunch.
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