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March 10, 2021

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts 

"Please, the woman in the asylum prayed, looking south where he ciphered message had flown like fragile paper birds.  Believe Me." ( p 21)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Rose Code
March 2021; William Morrow; 978-0063059412
audo, ebook, print (656 pages); historical fiction
Kate Quinn, the author of the highly reviewed novels - The Alice Network (read my review) and The Huntress (read my review) gives us a new view of WWII through the eyes of female English code-breakers who worked night and day to crack the codes used by the German command.  They put their lives on hold to help England and the allies win the war and their work and sacrifices were pretty well forgotten after the end of the war.  Here is a story about three of those code breakers.

The Rose Code is a dual time line novel that takes place during WWII and during the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Phillip in 1947.  Both timelines mesh together perfectly to create this fantastic story.

1940 - Three totally different women go to work at the mysterious county estate Bletchley Park along with some of the most intelligent people in England at the time to work to break German military codes.    
  • Oslo is a debutante who has everything but wants to prove that she is more than a society girl.  She puts her fluent use of German to work as a translator.
  • Mab is from the poverty area of London.  While she is working on the code-breaking machines, she's looking for a rich husband who will better her social standing and help her escape her past.
  • Beth is the village spinster who has been told that she is stupid by her mother for her entire life to the point that she believes she is stupid and that her future will be to live at home and take care of her parents. Her shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon she becomes one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.     

1947 - Everyone in London is excited about the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.  With the wedding excitement taking over the town, two of the former friends are contacted by the third who is in an insane asylum.  She tells them that there was a traitor at Bletchley park who had made sure she was confined before she could reveal his identity and at the same time broke up the friendship of the three women.  Can they let their feelings of betrayal go and work together to find the traitor despite the danger?  Will they be successful in finding out WHO the traitor is and bring them to justice?

If you enjoy historical fiction - The Rose Code is a MUST read.  It's a well-researched novel with characters you won't soon forget.  It's long - over 600 pages - but you don't even notice that as the pages keep turning and you get into the lives of the three main characters.  It's not only a book about history but there is a mystery full of twists and turns with an ending that amazed me.  It's a novel about a friendship that survives no matter the obstacles or the time that has passed.

Buy The Rose Code at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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