CBR Passport- New Author
I decided to get back into reading more historical fiction this year. My kid loves history, and he’s been reading a lot of World War II books lately so I picked this up at my local library. They have a deal where you can check out more recent e-books without a hold if you keep them from a shorter amount of time. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn tells the story of three women at Bletchley Park. Oslo is a debutante, Mab is born poor and looking for a husband to improve her station in life, and Beth, who lives with her terrible shrew of a mother and passive father and has no dreams of her own.
I really liked this book a lot. I thought it was extremely clever to put a spy in their midst who is spying for the Russians, and not a German, Italian, or Japanese spy. We are still fighting the Cold War on a global scale, so I thought it was so interesting to see some of the origins of the Cold War. It took me more than half the book for it to click that the love interest for Oslo was the Prince Phillip who was consort to Queen Elizabeth. I also really liked the tension that was created for Beth and Oslo in their lives that they couldn’t tell anyone what they were doing. Men at Bletchley Park were harshly criticized for not fighting in the War but were contributing in such important ways at Bletchley Park. I LOVED the plot point that two of the characters in the book worked at Bletchley Park and didn’t know. It’s a bit sad that most of the people that did so much for the war faded into obscurity.
One of the characters ends up in an asylum, and I liked that it was pretty clear before it is told who it is. I also liked that you could figure out who the spy is based on information the reader has, but not the characters because they have a falling out and don’t communicate. Not every book has to have the bad character be shocking and someone you never see coming. Not everything needs to be a twist (I think that’s been overplayed at this point anyway.)
This was a quick read for me and I will be checking out Kate Quinn’s other books.