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The Rose Code - A Glimpse into a Hidden Story from WW2

I love books that teach me about about a little-known piece of history - especially around World War II. Kate Quinn’s latest novel Rose Code accomplished just that by highlighting three female code breakers of Bletchley Park, who are loosely based on real-life women. Additionally, the book offered a rare glimpse into the young life of Prince Philip - before he became the royal consort to Queen Elizabeth.


Summary: As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla has everything - beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses - but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, a product of East End London poverty, works the legendary code breaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysis. But war, loss and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart....


Review: I really enjoyed the interwoven storylines of these three unique women and each of their stories equally captivated me. The novel floats between 1940 (during the war years) as the girls begin working at Bletchley Park, and 1947 as the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip looms within the days ahead. In 1947, we learn that the three women - now estranged - are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter, which could hold the key to the betrayal that ripped apart their friendship years before.


It was absolutely surreal that I finished this book just days before learning of the death of Prince Philip at 99. This book offered such a wonderful real-life look at Philip’s early years when he was a dashing Navy man and dating Canadian heiress (Osla Benning) for whom the book’s character Oslo Kendall was loosely based. I also highly encourage you to read the Author’s Note at the end of the book where Kate Quinn shares real-life pictures from Bletchley Park as well as details on each of the real-life characters.


5 shining stars for this one!

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3 Comments


Desiree Gumm
Desiree Gumm
Apr 11, 2021

Sounds great can’t wait to read this one !!

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Desiree Gumm
Desiree Gumm
Apr 11, 2021
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Yay can’t wait I will let her read it first since there is not that many “Mom “ books lol !

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