{Book Review} The Rose Code

Book cover of The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Bletchley Park may look like a mansion in a quiet country village but it’s one of Britain’s most important assets during World War II. Bletchley Park (BP) is where hundreds of men and women worked to break Axis encrypted messages, the Enigma codes. 

Wartime Britain brings together three unlikely women at the secretive estate – debutant Osla, self-made Mab, and the quiet and awkward Beth. Together, these woman make a life for themselves while serving their country. But like all BP employees, the women are sworn to secrecy, hiding their work and much of their everyday lives from loved ones. 

As the war drags on, the three friends are torn apart – first by tragedy and then by treason. Someone locks Beth away at Clockwell Sanatorium to prevent her from revealing the existence of a traitor at BP, someone selling secrets to the Soviets. She is still there in 1947, and the traitor is still at large. Beth manages a desperate plea to Osla and Mab for help. She may have survived more than 3 years locked up, but in just a handful of days, she’ll undergo surgery and become a vegetable if Osla and Mab can’t come to her rescue. And maybe, just maybe, the women can identify the traitor and bring him or her to justice.

the Rose Code by Kate Quinn, with a backdrop of the mountains


I became a big fan of Kate Quinn’s historical fiction novels when I read The Alice Network and The Huntress, and Quinn’s latest was no disappointment. Like her earlier books, Quinn took creative liberties in the characters, timeline, and plot but remained true to major themes, historical moments, and social aspects of the time. For example, all three WWII-era books stem from true stories and historical figures. In The Rose Code, some of the characters are fictional versions of those that worked at BP. Others represent a few different individuals or were created to exemplify a group of people. The Author’s Note clearly explains where Quinn deviated from history and what was true. 

The Rose Code alternates between two timeframes – WWII, starting in 1940, and post-war 1947, as Britain counts down the days until the wedding. Most of the novel focus on wartime Britain, where we follow Osla, Mab, and Beth as they develop their friendship and their careers. BP was a place that recruited all sorts of quirky and/or nerdy people and thus, fostered a more openminded and accepting atmosphere than common at that time. The alternating 1947 timeframe tracks the trio after the war, uniting old friends to help Beth and identify the BP traitor. 

The Rose Code has a little something for everyone – history, love, and mystery. It’s a fascinating story of the secret codebreakers of BP (the predecessor to today’s Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ), who are credited with ending the war more than a year earlier and saving many lives. 

If you like historical fiction, this one (and Quinn’s others) are definitely worth a read. Once I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down. 

{Book Review} The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado

Book Review: The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado

The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado 

Nina Guerrera is a fighter. Emancipated at age 17 after a difficult childhood, Nina put herself through college, joined the police force, and later the FBI as a Special Agent. She had put her past behind her and moved on, creating a successful life for herself.

That is, until Nina is attacked in a park. Someone records Nina fighting off her would-be rapist and inadvertently awakens a nightmare from her past. 

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{Book Review} The Paris Library

Book Review: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Book Review: The Paris Library

By Janet Skeslien Charles

It’s 1939 and Odile Souchet just accepted her dream job at the American Library in Paris, despite her family’s desire for her to stay home and get married. Shortly after, the Nazis invade France and Paris becomes an occupied city. Odile and her fellow librarians struggle to stay open, to serve the community, and to fight the best way know how – by providing books to anyone who wishes. The librarians ship boxes of books to soldiers overseas; they risk their lives to deliver books to Jewish subscribers who are prohibited from entering the library. Odile does all of this, while also falling in love with a young police officer. 

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{Book Review} Girls of Brackenhill

cover of the thriller, Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

{Book Review} Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

When Hannah’s aunt dies in a car accident, she returns to the castle where she spent several summers, Brackenhill. Her uncle is on his deathbed and the police cannot decide – was her aunt’s wreck actually an accident or was it intentional? 

The castle and history pull at Hannah’s heart strings, bring up unresolved questions about her family’s past. After 17 years apart, Hannah quickly discovers that she didn’t know much about her aunt and uncle (and their relationship with her own mother). Additionally, being back at Brackenhill stirs memories of the last summer she spent at the castle, the summer her sister disappeared. Continue reading “{Book Review} Girls of Brackenhill”

{Book Review} Lorien Legacies Reborn

overhead view of the books in the Lorien Legacies: Reborn and The Legacy Chronicles series{Book Review}

Lorien Legacies: Reborn and
The Legacy Chronicles

By Pittacus Lore

Disclaimer: This posts contains affiliate links. (That means that I earn a tiny percentage from your purchase – at no extra cost to you! – for the maintenance of this blog.)

These two series takes place after The Lorien Legacies and The Lorien Legacies: The Legacies. I review those two series here. Although the series I review today can be read standalone, I’d strongly encourage you to read my review of its predecessors and consider reading them first. There’s so much story and history there that I think it would make for a very different reading experience if you were to read these without that background. This review will contain spoilers for those that haven’t read The Lorien Legacies and The Lorien Legacies: The Legacies.

The Mogadore are defeated and Earth is safe from invasion. However, life on Earth has changed forever. The Loric Garde – children with special powers who fled the planet Lorien – awoke the energy source on Earth, creating a new race of Human Garde. But post-war Earth is faced with challenges they never imagined. How will the Garde learn to use their new powers? Is there anything to fear of the new Garde? Are the people of Earth safe? And some will ask, are the Garde safe from others on Earth? 

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