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The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over. 1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley P The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over. 1940. 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 is the girl who 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, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking 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 cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. 1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy--closer...


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The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over. 1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley P The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over. 1940. 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 is the girl who 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, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking 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 cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. 1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy--closer...

30 review for The Rose Code

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***IF YOU READ ONE HISTORICAL FICTION THIS YEAR, THIS SHOULD BE IT, IN PAPERBACK NOW*** I absolutely love Kate Quinn, I have been waiting for a new book from her ever since her last novel “The Huntress”. I love her novels about women spies. The Rose Code is something a bit different. This novel focuses on three very different women who come together to help the British solve the codes that the Germans have been sending back and forth to their troops, leaders, etc. This novel isn’t short, at 656 pa ***IF YOU READ ONE HISTORICAL FICTION THIS YEAR, THIS SHOULD BE IT, IN PAPERBACK NOW*** I absolutely love Kate Quinn, I have been waiting for a new book from her ever since her last novel “The Huntress”. I love her novels about women spies. The Rose Code is something a bit different. This novel focuses on three very different women who come together to help the British solve the codes that the Germans have been sending back and forth to their troops, leaders, etc. This novel isn’t short, at 656 pages, it’s not a quick read. I savored it, let myself get lost in it and allowed myself time for all of the imagery, information and wonderful characters to sink in. I became lost in the story almost immediately. The time frame is 1940 through 1947. We begin with the introductions of characters and how they all meet up at Bletchley Circle. Mab lived a life of poverty and was determined to find a man to marry, someone of some means to help her rise to a level where she didn’t have to worry every day about how she would get by. She ends up being adept at fixing the machines that the codebreakers use. Osla has come from a family of wealth. She has been dating Phillip for years and they have a friendship/love relationship for many years. She wants to help in the war effort and not just making bandages!! She wants to show that a “deb” can be more than just a showpiece. She is fluent in German and is ultimately used as a translator, essential to the codebreaking process. Beth is a quiet, timid young woman who has lived with her parents and has always been put down by her mother. Taught that she had no value, wasn’t good at anything, not even allowed to finish school. But she has a gift for mathematics and puzzle solving and at Bletchley Circle she finds her niche. She becomes one of the top cryptanalysts and is heads above everyone else she works with. She will find her wings here. Besides all of the intricacies of Bletchley park, all of the secrets that these people are sworn to keep, there is a resounding story of friendship, love and humor. All of those that work here, many for 24 hours straight, find their ways to have fun. They sing, they laugh, they find love and acceptance, all combined in the effort to help win the war for the Allies. This is a bare outline of the characters but there is lots of interaction between these three women, they become best friends, until tragedy strikes. They then are split apart for many years.’ We flash ahead to 1947 and Beth is locked away in an asylum, thought to have “had a breakdown”. In reality she has been unjustly accused and knows a terrible secret -- there was a traitor at Bletchley park and she knows who it is. This is the one who put her here, and there are only two people whom she trusts can help her escape the asylum -- Mab and Osla!! These three indomitable women will come together once again to capture the spy who traded their security, the future of the war effort and love of country, for money. I’ll leave you to discover who the traitor was and how the story unfolds, just like looking down at the spirals inside a rose!! This is by far the best historical fiction I have read in a very long time! The last sections of the book are tense, action packed and will have you reading with all of your senses on high alert! If you enjoy this book I recommend watching the PBS series Bletchley Circle and here is also a link to an interview with Kate Quinn below. https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I highly recommend this novel to all lovers of historical fiction, you will find a wonderful novel based on facts. You won’t easily forget these characters, they will stay with me for a long time. This was a buddy read with my good friend CeeCee who also loved the novel. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This novel is set to release on March 9, 2021

  2. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Rose Code: A Novel by Kate Quinn (Author), Saskia Maarleveld (Narrator) This is my second audio historical novel in a row and both of them were riveting. I can't help wondering if I'd feel differently about an audiobook if I had read it instead. Sometimes the narrators are so good, it's hard to imagine not hearing all those character voices, if I had read the book.  The Rose Code deals with two time periods, the first starting in 1940 and the second taking place in November 1947. In 1940 three The Rose Code: A Novel by Kate Quinn (Author), Saskia Maarleveld (Narrator) This is my second audio historical novel in a row and both of them were riveting. I can't help wondering if I'd feel differently about an audiobook if I had read it instead. Sometimes the narrators are so good, it's hard to imagine not hearing all those character voices, if I had read the book.  The Rose Code deals with two time periods, the first starting in 1940 and the second taking place in November 1947. In 1940 three women come together and become the closest of friends because of their work and because they board in the same house/room. These three women are recruited to work as female codebreakers at Bletchley Park and the women are tied together by the secrecy of their work, knowing the Official Secrets Act of 1939 prevents them from speaking to anyone of what they do. A 1942 security warning emphasized the importance of discretion even within Bletchley itself: "Do not talk at meals. Do not talk in the transport. Do not talk travelling. Do not talk in the billet. Do not talk by your own fireside. Be careful even in your hut." The very need for such secrecy throws these three women into friendship as nothing else could do.  Wealthy debutante Osla is seriously flirting with Prince Philip of Greece, hard, bold Mab has pulled herself up by her bootstraps to give herself an education and the ability to support herself, her mother, and her little sister, and then there is brilliant but shy, cowed Beth, whose mother has demeaned her so much that she thinks she is dumb and worthless. These women are each doing jobs that are part of the entire network that decodes enemy messages, messages that can change the tide of the war, mean saving the lives of thousands, heading off more disastrous losses, and determining if our side has managed to mislead the enemy from the inside.  Personal disaster tears these women apart several years after they meet and they would never speak to each other again except that one of the women gets a message to the other two women that there was and still is a spy in their former codebreaking group. Against almost impossible odds, the women need to get back together to break one last code. The tension was high during their codebreaking days, in an exhausting, tedious, mind numbing way and now they will have to condense their years of work into days or their chance to stop a spy will be gone.  I'd known about this work from seeing The Imitation Game and from research I'd done on Bletchley Park and I'm glad I had that background because I know it helped me to enjoy this book better than I might if I'd come in with no understanding of the work. I was wrapped up in this long audiobook, interested in not only Osla, Mab, and Beth but the secondary characters, too. This story has me wanting to learn even more about this work and this time and I'm going to have a hard time letting go of the characters.  Publication: March 9th 2021 Thank you to Harper Audio and NetGalley for this ARC. 

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    4.5 stars rounded to 5 stars Well, I am now convinced who the queen of WWII historical fiction is and that’s Kate Quinn! This lady can tell a story. The only reason The Rose Code doesn’t get a solid 5-star rating from me is that even though it is a brilliant read, I liked The Huntress better. So, Ms. Quinn, I’m sorry, but I have you competing with yourself! The Rose Code is just terrific. It starts a bit slow as the characters are introduced. There are essentially 3 protagonists so setting the sce 4.5 stars rounded to 5 stars Well, I am now convinced who the queen of WWII historical fiction is and that’s Kate Quinn! This lady can tell a story. The only reason The Rose Code doesn’t get a solid 5-star rating from me is that even though it is a brilliant read, I liked The Huntress better. So, Ms. Quinn, I’m sorry, but I have you competing with yourself! The Rose Code is just terrific. It starts a bit slow as the characters are introduced. There are essentially 3 protagonists so setting the scene takes a bit of extra time. It is all worth it though. I learned so much from this novel. Ms. Quinn does a dynamite job with her research giving us a wonderfully detailed picture of the happenings at Bletchley Park where German military codes are broken and our characters work. Mab, Osla, and Beth could not be more different. Despite that, their work binds them for life, through thick and thin, through multiple betrayals and tragedies. The characterization here is top-notch. My favorites are Francis Gray in his small role and Beth, a shy introverted code breaker. The setting is portrayed beautifully. I kept having flashes back to the movie Imitation Games, which also does a masterful job with the setting. That movie, BTW, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing who makes a cameo appearance in The Rose Code. There are a number of storylines in this novel, all intertwined and contributing to a good pace once the book takes off. Even though there are over 650 pages, I don’t really see much I would cut out. There is plentiful suspense in the second half of the novel, which I really enjoyed. I also liked the fact that there is little actual war action, which is a nice change, and allows more time with the code-breaking process and the other sources of intrigue. We are treated to a short but welcome epilogue where we learn how much of the story is based in truth and get some follow up with our characters and Bletchley Park. Overall, this novel is a “can’t miss” in the now glutted field of WWII historical fiction. It offers a great immersive experience with wonderful characters based in truth, a strong learning opportunity, and a suspenseful story evolving around friendship, betrayal, loss, hope, and redemption. I highly recommend The Rose Code for all lovers of historical fiction. Many thanks to Net Galley, William Morrow, and Ms. Kate Quinn for an ARC of this book. Opinions expressed are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Kate Quinn once again enthralls with her latest piece of historical fiction, a mystery set in WW2 and the famous code breaking site of Bletchley Park, focusing on the close friendship between three extraordinary young women from hugely different backgrounds, determined to more than do their bit to fight the enemy. Wealthy heiress and debutante Osla Kendall has returned from Canada, and as a fluent German speaker translates the codes, she catches the eye of Prince Philip and falls head over heels Kate Quinn once again enthralls with her latest piece of historical fiction, a mystery set in WW2 and the famous code breaking site of Bletchley Park, focusing on the close friendship between three extraordinary young women from hugely different backgrounds, determined to more than do their bit to fight the enemy. Wealthy heiress and debutante Osla Kendall has returned from Canada, and as a fluent German speaker translates the codes, she catches the eye of Prince Philip and falls head over heels for him. The flinty, hard as nails, impoverished East End Londoner, the tall Mab Churt, aka Queen Mab, sees to the machines that help break the codes, set on improving herself, reading the 100 top literary reads to ensnare herself a wealthy husband and provide for her younger sister, Lucy. The downtrodden, shy and timid Beth Finch has a hideous and emotionally abusive mother who has her believing she is good for nothing, but she turns out to be the star code breaker working for Dilly Knox who believes in her. It is 1947 in London and the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip is approaching, and Tatler writer, Osla, is struggling to handle this, and for convenience sake has acquired a fiance of her own to ensure that she is not a object of pity. Out of the blue, she gets a message from Beth, incarcerated in Clockwell Sanatorium, asking for her and Mab's help and to identify a traitor from their Bletchley Park days. Is Beth crazy or could she possibly be telling the truth? The friendship between the 3 women had broken apart on D-day with betrayal and recriminations. Osla knows it is going to take a lot of persuasion to get Mab, now married with 2 young children, to join forces and meet Beth to find out if there really is a traitor at large. In a narrative that goes back and forth in time, we become acquainted with the spirit of adventure and excitement in the women's lives, along with the passion, joy, love, loss, terror, fear, rage, despair, tragedies, and grief in their time as codebreakers, can they come back together one last time to crack the Rose code? Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is a running motif in Quinn's novel, the time in Bletchley Park is referred to as falling down the rabbit hole, the literary club are named The Mad Hatters, and desperate Beth herself is known as Alice Liddell in Clockwell, wanting to avoid the upcoming lobotomy planned for her. From being a gifted cryptographer, she is unjustly framed and has to spend three and a half years amidst the horrors and torture of a regime that punished and drugged her, believing her to be insane. It is incredible that she managed to survive and found a way of getting in touch with her old friends, her resilience and memories of what she achieved provides her with a strength of spirit that would have defeated so many others. This is a thrilling historical read, engaging, entertaining and riveting, loaded with the class distinctions and social norms and attitudes of the time when it comes to women and race. Highly recommended. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    ALL THE STARS! This is one of the times I didn’t want to let go of the characters. My attachment to them was tangible. After spending days listening to these three women, I just didn't want to leave and never hear from them again. Meet the women: Osla, A Canadian-born debutant, the smart and pretty socialite who wants more in life. In 1939, her friend introduces her to a young Navy officer, Phillip of Greece and she becomes his girlfriend. Mab, "Queen Mab", who has fought for an education and wants t ALL THE STARS! This is one of the times I didn’t want to let go of the characters. My attachment to them was tangible. After spending days listening to these three women, I just didn't want to leave and never hear from them again. Meet the women: Osla, A Canadian-born debutant, the smart and pretty socialite who wants more in life. In 1939, her friend introduces her to a young Navy officer, Phillip of Greece and she becomes his girlfriend. Mab, "Queen Mab", who has fought for an education and wants to find a man who can provide for her and her sister Lucy. Then, there is Beth. She's already considered a spinster. Her mother treats her poorly and she uses the Bible as a physical punishment. Her self-esteem is non-existent. All three will work at Bletchley Park, the mansion used as the center of the allied code-breaking during the Second World War. Osla will find a place as a linguist. Mab working with fixing the machines used for code-breaking and Beth as a cryptanalyst. Sworn to secrecy by the Official Secrets Act of 1939, these three women will become fast friends until there is a betrayal. A betrayal that will leave Beth at Clockwell's sanitarium. Then in 1947, the year that Phillip marries a Queen, a coded message will be delivered to Osla and Mab asking for help. It is a message that neither woman can dismiss before a third one loses her mind for good. Kate Quinn does a fantastic job at describing these women, their timelines, and their stories. I was wholeheartedly invested in them. I felt their happiness, their sorrows, and their pain. The secondary characters were excellent too. Mr. Grey, Harry, Boots, all a great addition to the story. As I get near the end of my review, I can forget to mention the amazing job that Saskia Maarleveld did as a narrator. She was fantastic. I think this book was perfect as an audiobook. 5 stars to her. One last thing, and just for those curious minds. Osla Benning was a real person. She was fluent in German and she did work at BP. How many years until I can see the movie? Cliffhanger: No 5/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Harper Audio via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Three ‘gals’, one war, once best friends until D-Day when events splintered their tight knit secret world of Bletchley Park after which one ends up in Clockwell Sanatorium in Yorkshire. Fast forward to 1947 and the wedding of the century of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip of Greece ( regarded as a ‘dish’) but the prospect of the wedding is putting former deb Osla Kendall in a funk. What unfolds in the dual timeline will get your unmentionables into a bit of a swither in this bally marvellous Three ‘gals’, one war, once best friends until D-Day when events splintered their tight knit secret world of Bletchley Park after which one ends up in Clockwell Sanatorium in Yorkshire. Fast forward to 1947 and the wedding of the century of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip of Greece ( regarded as a ‘dish’) but the prospect of the wedding is putting former deb Osla Kendall in a funk. What unfolds in the dual timeline will get your unmentionables into a bit of a swither in this bally marvellous novel. Glued. Transfixed. Enthralled. I could go on but suffice it to say this is an exceptional story. It’s a novel of how three women from very different backgrounds helped in the Enigma codebreaking which in itself is an absorbing story. The characters are terrific, there’s wealthy Canadian debutante and later Tatler journalist Osla Kendall who is utterly spiffing, there’s (Queen) Mab Church from the East End who is a literary filly with plenty of gumption and a dark secret and Beth Finch, dubbed hopeless by her odious mother but who is in fact a whizz at seeing patterns in codebreaking. We rub shoulders with the ‘great and good’ - enter Philip, his uncle Dickie Mountbatten and our leader Winnie makes an appearance, there’s Alan Turing and Dilly Knox, there’s a traitorous cad and a wonderful but very damaged WW1 war poet. Fabulous. The book captures the times in the use of language, sadly there’s awful racism with some words that make your toes curl and there’s ever present sexism because why on earth would women possibly have brains, what? It’s also a mystery as it’s about betrayal of your country, it’s about how the codebreakers help turn the tide of war and keep that knowledge to their cost. The war imposes hugely on the characters lives and brings tragedy to some with some vivid, terrifying panic stricken descriptions in places such as Coventry and London. The cryptography element is absolutely fascinating and you marvel at the tenacity with accompanying hours and hours of eye straining effort especially on Beth as she eats, sleeps and breathes it. At times it’s so tense and gripping you hardly dare to breathe. The parts that take place at Clockwell shock you to the core and it’s the ‘Rose Code’ that leads to this place of horrors. The ending builds extremely well as it becomes a tense and exciting race against time to unmask the traitor and this nail baiter takes place against the backdrop of the royal wedding. Overall, I think it’s apparent I love this book! You can’t read it in a jiffy or a tick, it’s one to savour and reread in the future and it will stay with me for a long time. It’s spiffing, top notch, tip top etc etc!!! This one is a must read and is highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Harper Collins for the much appreciated arc and to Kate Quinn for writing it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Kate Quinn turns her head once again to WWII, this time to the women of Bletchley Park. The story follows three women, Osla, a debutante, working class Mab and local village spinster, Beth, from 1940 through 1947, the year that Elizabeth marries Prince Philip of Greece. Turns out, Osla had dated Philip for the first few years of the war. Something has happened to turn the three friends into enemies. The story is told from the viewpoints of all three women. I was enchanted by each of them and wil Kate Quinn turns her head once again to WWII, this time to the women of Bletchley Park. The story follows three women, Osla, a debutante, working class Mab and local village spinster, Beth, from 1940 through 1947, the year that Elizabeth marries Prince Philip of Greece. Turns out, Osla had dated Philip for the first few years of the war. Something has happened to turn the three friends into enemies. The story is told from the viewpoints of all three women. I was enchanted by each of them and wild to find out what turned them against each other and how Beth ended up confined to a sanitarium. The underlying mystery concerns a traitor in their midst and which of their many coworkers it might be. This was a story that grabbed me and never let me go. Other things went by the wayside as I tried to listen to this spare minute. I was well aware of Bletchley Park, between The Imitation Game and the PBS show The Bletchley Circle. This book added to my knowledge of that time and the work done there. It was very atmospheric, grappling with everything from the rations to the death of loved ones. And not just the time at BP, but also while Beth is trapped at Clockwell, the sanitarium. It’s got a great, suspenseful ending that totally satisfies. Brava to Ms. Quinn for providing me another five star historical novel to sink my teeth into. She has yet to disappoint. I was also totally impressed by Saskia Maarleveld as the narrator. She did an amazing job distinguishing the different accents and characters and added to my overall enjoyment of the story. My thanks to netgalley and Harper Audio for an advance copy of this audiobook.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    I wish to express my thanks to NetGalley and Harper Audio for this compelling historical novel in audiobook format. Kate Quinn has written a vivid and gripping account set in wartime London. She uses her great storytelling talent and research to describe what the experience must have been like working under wartime secrecy in Bletchley Park where German codes were broken and translated. It has been estimated that the Enigma codebreakers shortened WW2 by as much as two years using early computers I wish to express my thanks to NetGalley and Harper Audio for this compelling historical novel in audiobook format. Kate Quinn has written a vivid and gripping account set in wartime London. She uses her great storytelling talent and research to describe what the experience must have been like working under wartime secrecy in Bletchley Park where German codes were broken and translated. It has been estimated that the Enigma codebreakers shortened WW2 by as much as two years using early computers and the formidable skills of an inspiring group of people. I listened to The Rose Code by the audiobook version. It was enhanced by the superb narration of Saskia Maarleveld who voiced the conversations of all the characters. This was a lengthy audiobook of over 16 hours. I felt more time was required than reading the print version. The story revolves around three remarkable and different women during their employment at Bletchley Park during WW2. Three diverse personalities were brought together. They developed a close friendship which was shattered by the end of the war. It describes the causes of their broken friendship. It involves their family backgrounds, romantic loves gained or lost, deaths, betrayal, treachery, and a traitor in their midst. The women gained great satisfaction from their undercover role in defeating the Nazis. After the war ended their friendship was in tatters. One was unjustly punished by being locked up in an insane asylum. The leading characters were; 1. Mab, with an impoverished working-class background. She hides a personal secret and her goal is to marry a man who would raise her out of poverty and give her some social standing. She became highly skilled in working the codebreaking machines. 2. Osla, who was a beautiful debutante with wealthy family connections which gave her a place in high society. She is being courted by Prince Philip but knows it must end due to her role in the war effort. She uses her fluent German to translate the decoded Nazi secrets. 3. These two women meet Beth, a shy, introverted spinster. She has little formal education, lacks self-esteem and confidence in social situations. She has been isolated under the domination of a cruel and deranged mother. Her skill with puzzles brings her to the notice of those in command at Bletchley Park. She soon asserts herself as one of the few female cryptanalysts. We also get glimpses of real-life characters, such as Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, Alan Turing, and Winston Churchill. Two of the former friends reluctantly meet again in 1947 when the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip is approaching. They both have received a coded message from the woman confined in the mental institution begging for their help. She has been there for over three years and is desperate. She has learned she has been scheduled for a lobotomy. They must hurry to put aside their anger and suspicions and decode a difficult message with the purpose of determining who was a paid spy in their midst who passed on military secrets to the Germans and now the Russians. The conclusion is an exciting and frantic chase through the crowds lined up to witness the Royal Wedding procession. Recommended to readers who enjoy historical novels set in London during the war and are interested in the codebreaking that helped to end the war. The characters are well developed and intriguing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kerrin P

    Now Available!! You should read it!! The Rose Code by New York Times best-selling author Kate Quinn is a fascinating look at the dedication and brilliance of the British Code Breakers during World War II. The Bletchley Park mansion housed the top-secret Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) whose employees were able to break the German Enigma codes, as well as several other code types. These employees endured six-day-a week rotating schedules that were often grueling. The novel offers insight Now Available!! You should read it!! The Rose Code by New York Times best-selling author Kate Quinn is a fascinating look at the dedication and brilliance of the British Code Breakers during World War II. The Bletchley Park mansion housed the top-secret Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) whose employees were able to break the German Enigma codes, as well as several other code types. These employees endured six-day-a week rotating schedules that were often grueling. The novel offers insight into the interworkings of this operation. The story focuses on three unlikely friends who work at Bletchley Park. First, there is the socialite Osla, who happens to be dating Prince Philip. Next, there is Mab, a hardworking commoner who is looking for a husband and also hiding a secret. Finally, there is Beth, a socially inept but highly intelligent young woman. The story starts in 1947, shortly before the wedding of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth. Osla and Mab each receive a coded message from Beth demanding their help. Beth was forcefully put into an insane asylum three years earlier after she was able to decode part of a message known as The Rose Code. Beth knows there was a traitor at Bletchley Park, but doesn’t know who it was. The three women had stopped being friends after a tragic incident, and now need to decide if they will come together to solve the mystery. The story travels back and forth between the women’s time at Bletchley Park beginning in 1940 to the days leading up to the Royal Wedding. The back-stories of the three main characters are interwoven with both real and other fictional characters who worked in the war effort. The ending of the book is pure Hollywood with a heart-stopping chase scene that takes place among the throngs of people who have lined the streets for the wedding festivities. I loved it! Kate Quinn is one of my favorite authors. She really shines with this story that has well-researched history blended seamlessly with romance, friendship, and intrigue. This is a LONG book. I listened to the audio which was 15 hours and 40 minutes long. The hardback is 656 pages. While I am not typically a fan of big books, I enjoyed every minute of this one. The audio is read by Saskia Maarleveld who also narrated Kate’s Quinn’s The Huntress and The Alice Network. 5-plus stars. Book Club recommended. This novel will be released on March 9, 2021. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperAudio for my Advance copy of this fabulous book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anna Avian

    This book should have been at least 200 pages shorter. Slow buildup and not as much suspense as I had hoped for. Lost my attention several times and by the time I got to the crux of the matter (more than halfway through) I wasn’t that invested in the story anymore. The Prince Philip love story was entirely unnecessary as well as few other soap opera moments. Alan Turing’s character randomly popped on the pages as if from another book. The friendship between the three main characters felt underde This book should have been at least 200 pages shorter. Slow buildup and not as much suspense as I had hoped for. Lost my attention several times and by the time I got to the crux of the matter (more than halfway through) I wasn’t that invested in the story anymore. The Prince Philip love story was entirely unnecessary as well as few other soap opera moments. Alan Turing’s character randomly popped on the pages as if from another book. The friendship between the three main characters felt underdeveloped and dubious. The ending felt rushed and crammed with action that was lacking for the majority of the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    The Rose Code is an interesting book. I liked how this book is a mix of a historical fiction novel and mystery. World War II is my favorite time period to read about and the aspect of trying to figure out who is responsible for one of them entering an asylum. I was intrigued by the dual time line between past and present. In the past, the women are developing a friendship and learning how to break codes. In the present, the women have to work together and put their personal differences aside. Th The Rose Code is an interesting book. I liked how this book is a mix of a historical fiction novel and mystery. World War II is my favorite time period to read about and the aspect of trying to figure out who is responsible for one of them entering an asylum. I was intrigued by the dual time line between past and present. In the past, the women are developing a friendship and learning how to break codes. In the present, the women have to work together and put their personal differences aside. They each have to decide if the one in the asylum belongs there and what happened in the years they didn’t talk. The Rose Code kept me thinking throughout the book. All of the characters are interesting and use their different talents towards the same goal. Osla, Mab, and Beth are very unique characters but easily develop a friendship. Thank you Harper Audio, William Morrow, and NetGalley for The Rose Code. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This review was first posted on Mystery and Suspense. Check it out for features, interviews, and reviews. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/th... The Rose Code follows three young women who worked at England's Bletchley Park, a country estate converted to a code-breaking facility during World War II. Bletchley Park Employees at Bletchley Park deciphered encrypted Nazi communications, providing vital information to the Allies. The story alternates back and forth between the war years 1940 to 1945 - This review was first posted on Mystery and Suspense. Check it out for features, interviews, and reviews. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/th... The Rose Code follows three young women who worked at England's Bletchley Park, a country estate converted to a code-breaking facility during World War II. Bletchley Park Employees at Bletchley Park deciphered encrypted Nazi communications, providing vital information to the Allies. The story alternates back and forth between the war years 1940 to 1945 - when England was imperiled, and the postwar year 1947 - when Britain was agog over the upcoming marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The main characters are Osla Kendall, a beautiful wealthy socialite with ties to the royal family; Mab Church, a go-getter who grew up poor, but means to better herself; and Beth Finch, an unsophisticated country girl who's bullied by a selfish mother. In 1940, Osla and Mab meet on the train to Bletchley Park, which has recruited them for war work. After accepting their positions and signing the Official Secrets Act, the girls are billeted at the Finch family home, where they meet Beth. Though Beth is almost pathologically reclusive, Osla and Mab note her facility with puzzles, and Beth is soon working at Bletchley Park as well. Each of the girls is assigned to a different unit. Osla's fluency in German eventually lands her a translation job; Mab maintains the Bombe machines used to decipher messages encoded with German Enigma devices; Bombe Machine Enigma Machine and Beth is a gifted cryptanalyst with an almost preternatural ability to decode covert transmissions. Working and living together fosters close friendships among Osla, Mab, and Beth. This camaraderie is important because the ladies are forbidden to talk about their jobs to outsiders, and must tell family and friends they're file clerks. The women can be more honest amongst themselves, but are nevertheless prohibited from revealing classified information even to each other. The work at Bletchley Park is difficult and stressful, and England is being bombed by the luftwaffe.... ..... but the girls still manage to have some fun and search for romance. Mab meets a war poet, Beth gets involved with a fellow cryptanalyst, and Osla dates Prince Philip, who's an eligible bachelor in the early 1940s. Prince Philip Skip to 1947, and Osla, Mab, and Beth are angry, estranged, and haven't spoken since the end of the war. Beth is a mental patient in Clockwell Sanatorium; Mab has a husband and children; and Osla is preparing to attend the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Osla is hurt by Philip's engagement to another woman, but knows she must present a brave face and carefree attitude. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip As the royal nuptials approach, Osla and Mab each get a letter from Beth. Beth claims she discovered a traitor at Bletchley Park, who - fearing exposure - got her committed to Clockwell asylum. Beth writes that Osla and Mab 'owe her', and asks them to get her out so she can expose the Judas. The book contains fascinating details about England breaking Nazi codes, leading to the discovery of German plans. The Brits then have to use the information in way that doesn't alert the enemy to the exposure of their secrets. There are also appearances by real historical figures, including naval admiral Lord Mountbatten, codebreaker Dilly Knox, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, computer scientist Alan Turing, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and others. This compelling and suspenseful historical novel is an excellent example of the genre. Highly recommended. Thanks to Netgalley, Kate Quinn, and William Morrow Publishers for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pam Jenoff

    This terrific book (out today!) is about three women for worked at Bletchley Park during World War II and were torn apart by secrets and betrayals. After the war, they are brought back together by a mysterious letter containing a dark secret. Happy Pub Day!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristina McMorris

    A fantastic read! So honored and thrilled to provide a cover quote: Readers: Prepare to be swept away by The Rose Code. A richly deserved tribute to the WWII codebreakers of Bletchley Park, Kate Quinn’s latest novel is a tour de force. Exhaustive research, vibrant characters, and pulse-pounding suspense combine in a riveting tale destined to be a book-club favorite. I absolutely loved it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    So excited to get an audio ARC of Kate Quinn’s newest hf novel, THE ROSE CODE! I adore her elegant prose, beautifully plotted narratives and in-depth characters. She makes history come vividly alive, as she does here in this riveting tale of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park during and after WWII. The audio experience was mixed for me solely due to length (15 hours and 40 minutes.) I’m a visual learner and skim-read with ease. But I’ll try audio again buoyed by Kate’s magnificent tale So excited to get an audio ARC of Kate Quinn’s newest hf novel, THE ROSE CODE! I adore her elegant prose, beautifully plotted narratives and in-depth characters. She makes history come vividly alive, as she does here in this riveting tale of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park during and after WWII. The audio experience was mixed for me solely due to length (15 hours and 40 minutes.) I’m a visual learner and skim-read with ease. But I’ll try audio again buoyed by Kate’s magnificent tale — a must-listen for all Quinn fans and hf buffs! 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 09 Mar 2021 #TheRoseCode #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Harper Audio, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    Oslo, Mab and Beth were young English women who wound up working at Bletchley Park trying to decipher enemy communications during WWII. They had little in common but bonded over their fascinating and critical work as code breakers. It was especially important that they had each other, since they couldn’t discuss their work with anyone outside of Bletchley Park, even after the war ended. They eventually came to a falling out on D-Day over various betrayals. This seemed entirely irrevocable until Oslo, Mab and Beth were young English women who wound up working at Bletchley Park trying to decipher enemy communications during WWII. They had little in common but bonded over their fascinating and critical work as code breakers. It was especially important that they had each other, since they couldn’t discuss their work with anyone outside of Bletchley Park, even after the war ended. They eventually came to a falling out on D-Day over various betrayals. This seemed entirely irrevocable until 1947, when they joined again to identify and catch a traitor. The timing coincided with the wedding of Prince Philip of Greece and Princess Elizabeth of England. I have read other books about the enigma code, and the activities at Bletchley Park seemed realistic in this book. There was also an extremely moving description of a devastating air raid. The three women were intelligent and interesting, and each had her own well developed personality. The narrator of the audiobook did a capable job of differentiating the characters. This is the second historical novel that I have read by this author and I enjoyed this one much more than “The Huntress”. One thing that they have in common, however, is that they are both way too long. As much as I liked reading about the code breaking activities at Bletchley Park, I could have done without the romances which took up a lot of this book. Having just seen the funeral of Prince Philip, the timing wasn’t right to read about a fictitious affair he had with Oslo before he married Elizabeth. Mab pursued her objective of finding a husband, while Beth was attracted to a married co-worker. The author did manage to tie the romances of the three women into the main story of code breaking, but trimming them would have gotten the book down to a more manageable length. I received a free copy of this audiobook book from the publisher.

  17. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    On my blog. Rep: Maltese Arab Egyptian side character CWs: sexual harassment, racism, physical abuse, sexual abuse, forced institutionalisation, forced drug use Galley provided by publisher The Rose Code, perhaps aptly, provides a somewhat rose-tinted view of World War II and Bletchley Park. That’s not to say it needed to be grittier or darker than it was (it is, after all, set during a war, and there are on-page deaths), but the way it presented that war — particularly the way it presented some On my blog. Rep: Maltese Arab Egyptian side character CWs: sexual harassment, racism, physical abuse, sexual abuse, forced institutionalisation, forced drug use Galley provided by publisher The Rose Code, perhaps aptly, provides a somewhat rose-tinted view of World War II and Bletchley Park. That’s not to say it needed to be grittier or darker than it was (it is, after all, set during a war, and there are on-page deaths), but the way it presented that war — particularly the way it presented some of the major players (Churchill, namely) — gave it that sort of naive feel. But let me shelve that particular point for a moment and start from the beginning. I knew, having read The Huntress, that Kate Quinn’s brand of historical fiction is very detailed and very slow-moving. Whereas I wasn’t prepared for that in the previous book and thus got somewhat bored, I was here. I set myself up ready to take a few days over reading it, to not rush it or expect it to move faster than it did. And then it turned out I actually wasn’t ready. Because what I expected of this book involved a lot more mystery and a lot more investigation than what I got. The copy I read was 640 pages. It is not until page 523 (the number is stuck in my mind for this very rant) that the flashbacks end. And then two or three pages later, the culprit shows up and says “hey, I’m behind it all!”. Perhaps the blame can be put squarely on me here, expecting a historical mystery rather than something more… dramatic (in the sense of like a drama), I suppose. Instead, that’s what I got. The book seemed intent on detailing every single bit of drama from when the three main characters meet, up to the point where it falls apart. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except it moved so slowly — there was, it turns out, a heck of a lot of drama to get through. I think one way that could have been fixed was to have the present day interludes move faster. Instead of faffing about thinking about whether they would help Beth escape the asylum where the traitor put her, they could have got her out earlier and then spent more time perhaps investigating the mystery. Because that’s my second point in relation to this. You’ve spent over 500 pages explaining the backstory to the mystery, but now you have no time to develop the mystery. Which makes it all the more disappointing when the culprit just reveals themselves for no apparent reason. Did they need to go to the asylum to see Beth? I can’t see why, except for revealing who did it in the most dissatisfying fashion possible. Especially when you still then have 120 pages to go and what on earth are they going to do that makes that worth reading? If that had been my only problem, perhaps I would have given the book 3 stars instead of 2 (for a lot of it, I was thinking of rating it that). But then. I mentioned up top about the rose-tintedness of this book and I think there are two things in particular which illustrate this. The first happens about halfway through the book. For what seems to be solely to include Churchill at some point in the narrative, the man himself shows up to inspect Bletchley Park (I would argue the use of Alan Turing later on in the book is for a similar reason). And Mab, whose POV it is at this point, spends a paragraph wishing she could mother him. It opens with the line: “As Churchill thanked them, she felt an almost violent urge to nurture”. And “wasn’t anyone looking after him while he looked after the whole nation?” She “had to clasp her hands to stop from doing up his overcoat as he turned to leave”. I don’t know how to explain the way I physically recoiled at this part. But if you thought this was bad, just wait til you hear what’s next! In all honesty, if I had known that this book featured Prince Philip — yes, the real life Prince Philip — as a prominent love interest, I would not have touched it with a 7-mile long bargepole. I skipped entire chapters because they were the romance scenes between Osla and Prince Philip. Having real life individuals feature in books is not something I enjoy — I am not opposed to it completely, but I do not often enjoy it (it often only works for me if everyone is taken from real life). Here, it made me shrivel up inside. It’s like — I don’t know how best to put this — a Prince Philip x OC romance before Prince Philip x Elizabeth II endgame. And that’s a sentence I wish I had never had to write. It’s some kind of wish fulfillment, like you see in RPF fics. And I truly hated it. This, then, is the reason I couldn’t rate it over 2 stars. For all that Kate Quinn is a clearly accomplished writer, she completely lost me with the combination of Prince Philip as a love interest and a mystery that wasn’t. But if you are a fan of hers, then you’ll probably enjoy this. For me, though, this is a sign I should stop trying.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Terence M

    Awarded 1.5 Stars ^ to 2.0 Stars It was a bit more than "OK", but I didn't really "Like It" The Rose Code by Kate Quinn - Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld - Audiobook - 15:39 Hours Extracts from my Reading Progress: An interesting beginning ... — Apr 24, 2021 I hate to say it, but I am struggling a little with "The Rose Code". At the moment there is, for my particular taste, a bit too much "romance" and not enough "code breaking". Call me on it if you will, but them's my feelin's at 40% in. — April 30, Awarded 1.5 Stars ^ to 2.0 Stars It was a bit more than "OK", but I didn't really "Like It" The Rose Code by Kate Quinn - Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld - Audiobook - 15:39 Hours Extracts from my Reading Progress: An interesting beginning ... — Apr 24, 2021 I hate to say it, but I am struggling a little with "The Rose Code". At the moment there is, for my particular taste, a bit too much "romance" and not enough "code breaking". Call me on it if you will, but them's my feelin's at 40% in. — April 30, 2021 I am very disappointed because a number of GR friends, whose reviews I respect highly, gave this book all the stars! 55% done and I think I'm done too! This will probably be a dnf, but I haven't made the final decision yet. - March 01, 2021 Well, the final decision has been made and The Rose Code is officially a DNF! I am a fan of books written about “The Enigma Code” and the goings on at Bletchley Park where untold numbers of people initially broke the Enigma Code, helped by Alan Turing no less. Eventually Great Britain, and its then new ally, the USA, were almost fully aware of everything that the Germans planned for the persecution of the war and the invasion of their country. It is pretty obvious from my Reading Progress extracts above, that it was the ‘romance’ aspects of the story that turned me off. All the female/male relationships failed to appeal to me, particularly the improbable situation between Prince Phillip and his girlfriend, Osla. Nor did I like the switching back and forth using dual time frames – the first set early in WW II from 1940 on and the second in 1947, the year of the Royal Wedding. Readers of a genre like, say “Romance, plus WW II Intrigue”, are more likely to enjoy The Rose Code than I did. But there is a saving grace for me. I hunted my back-ups of recorded audiobooks and found one that I had obtained in 2014, set it up to be heard in 2018 and, for the usual reasons (don’t ask – I mislaid the original!), I didn’t listen to it. The book is “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges. First written in 1983 and used as the basis of the Academy Award-winning film, “The Imitation Game”. This audiobook is back on my “Reading Now” shelf and I will start listening to it … eventually!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities In a recent Zoom video group, one of the participants referred to Charles Dickens’ famous quote as she spoke about her pandemic experiences. As I finished Kate Quinn’s outstanding World War II historical fiction novel, The Rose Code, I had a feeling that the three main characters could have said those same words: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” Mabel “Mab” Churt, Osla Kendall, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities In a recent Zoom video group, one of the participants referred to Charles Dickens’ famous quote as she spoke about her pandemic experiences. As I finished Kate Quinn’s outstanding World War II historical fiction novel, The Rose Code, I had a feeling that the three main characters could have said those same words: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” Mabel “Mab” Churt, Osla Kendall, and Bethan Finch come from different backgrounds with different talents and experiences to work for the British government at Bletchley Park. Their work is top secret, and like all other code-breakers, they take an oath to keep their work secret. This mission binds them to one another. They and so many other women and men have a common goal. They cannot share their secrets with families, friends, or anyone outside their own huts. This leads to hurt feelings – and much worse – among the three friends. To get through the tremendous stress of their jobs, the code-breakers find social outlets, which often prove amusing if not always within the realm of what is socially acceptable for the times. There’s also the gossipy newletter, Bletchley Bletherings, written anonymously for the entertainment and distraction of the workers. Those working for the government and their country fear for the safety of their loved ones and at times, for their own safety. They hate that they've been sworn to secrecy when they possibly could send word to save those on the outside from harm. That is the worst. But for many, Bletchley Park is a place where their talents and abilities are needed, and they belong to something bigger than themselves. They've found like-minded women and men who have become like family. Operating long shifts in less than comfortable conditions, breaking the codes and defeating the Nazis is the number one goal, but the three women have normal desires too. Beth, who is naturally shy and demure, turned out to be a big surprise to me. She blossoms as a brilliant cryptanalyst, which results in an unexpected relationship. Osla and Mab have romantic interests that are highlighted; “Os” is interested in one Prince Philip. (The author has stated that Osla is based on the real-life Osla Benning, who was Philip’s wartime girlfriend.) The minor characters, too, take on lives of their own, and I found myself feeling quite sad any of the characters died. And Alan Turing, who is the mathematician featured in the movie, “The Imitation Game”, makes an appearance as well. I especially loved Francis, the poet, who speaks little but says much through his letters. Ms. Quinn did a marvelous job portraying the characters and making them feel real. The story flips back and forth between Bletchley Park and the days leading up to the marriage between Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth. The book doesn’t end when the war ends and the coders are sent home. Oh, no! It isn’t over ‘til it’s over! I found the Epilogue quite fascinating too. I enjoyed The Rose Code so much that I’m going to read The Huntress next! 4.5 rounded to 5 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Whenever Kate Quinn writes a new book I get very excited. I have read her previous books, The Alice Network and The Huntress. Both of those books were exceptionally well written. The Rose Code was no exception. It was a most riveting and compelling novel that was brilliantly written in a dual time line. The Rose Code was a masterful piece of historical fiction that explored Bletchley Park and three women who became code breakers. The plot was suspenseful, vivid and gripping. The characters were Whenever Kate Quinn writes a new book I get very excited. I have read her previous books, The Alice Network and The Huntress. Both of those books were exceptionally well written. The Rose Code was no exception. It was a most riveting and compelling novel that was brilliantly written in a dual time line. The Rose Code was a masterful piece of historical fiction that explored Bletchley Park and three women who became code breakers. The plot was suspenseful, vivid and gripping. The characters were well developed and vibrant. Most of the characters were likable, distinctive and well developed. Kate Quinn’s research for this book was impeccable. I listened to the audiobook that was expertly read by Saskia Maarleveld. It ran for over sixteen hours but I was so absorbed in the storyline that I hardly noticed. I did not want to stop listening. The Rose Code was so captivating. It was 1940 and the Nazis were rapidly advancing throughout Europe. England was determined to keep them at bay and prevent them from entering their country. They were also set on trying to derail there military attacks. Bletchley Park had been established to help achieve that specific purpose. Very intelligent men and women were being sought out to work as code breakers, machine operators and translators at Bletchley Park. These talented men and women would learn how to break German codes, translate them and get them into the hands of ally military officers so the Nazis could be stopped. Three very different women from different walks of life came to work at the mysterious Bletchley Park at about the same time. Osla Kendall was a debutante that wanted to do something worthwhile for the war effort. She was good at languages and would end up becoming a translator. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Osla had everything. She was rich and beautiful. Osla was dating Prince Philip of Greece and was truly head over heels about him. She wanted to prove to the world that she was more than met the eye, though. Mab Church had been living in the east end of London with her mother and little sister before she showed up at Bletchley Park. She and her family did not have a lot. They were quite poor. Mab wanted more out of life. In addition to wanting to help England win the war, Mab was determined to find a suitable husband. Mab found that she was quite good at operating the code breaking machines. Both Osla and Mab were assigned to live in a rooming house where the family let out one of their bedrooms to Bletchley Park workers. The Finch household was dominated by Mrs. Finch. Her spinster daughter, Beth, was still living at home under the very watchful and strict eye of her abusive mother. Osla and Mab noticed straight away how Mrs. Finch was taking advantage and dominating Beth. Mrs Finch always made Beth feel like she was a failure and had little to no redeeming intelligence or qualities other than being her mother’s best helper. Beth was painfully shy but brilliant when it came to solving puzzles. She had a low esteem of herself due to her mother’s constant reminders that she was dull and not capable. With Osla’s and Mab’s encouragement Beth also began to work at Bletchley Park. Beth went on and became one of Bletchley Park’s best cryptanalysts. The three women forged the most unlikely friendship but it worked. They began to depend on each other and sought each other out whenever they needed each other. All three women were bound to The Official Secrets Act of 1939. No information learned at Bletchley Park could ever be discussed. That put extra pressure on their friendship. How far would one friend take that oath if it meant the safety of one of her friends? Could their friendships stay intact with the added pressures of secrecy, war and loss? Alternately, Kate Quinn allowed glimpses forward to the year 1947. Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were to be married. Osla and Philip were no longer together. Mab, Osla and Beth were no longer friends or speaking to each other. Beth was now residing at Clockwell Sanatorium where the government placed her three and a half years earlier. Having decoded an encrypted letter her prior and deceased boss had been working on before his death, Beth discovered that there was a traitor looming within the confines of Bletchley Park. Before Beth was able to alert anyone about this new information she was whisked away to the asylum. Beth was accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act and compromising Bletchley Park and its work.. Now Beth was being threatened with a lobotomy. Beth knew that no one but Osla and Mab could save her. She needed them to help her escape from Clockwell Sanatorium and to help her crack the rose code and catch the traitor. Could Osla and Mab help Beth escape from the asylum? Would they be able to forgive and forget and work together to solve this last and probably most important code? The Rose Code was a book about friendship, secrets, love, loss, betrayal and forgiveness. It was a vivid, gripping and suspenseful book. It touched all my emotions. I found myself thinking about the story and the characters for days after I finished listening to the audiobook. I loved every part of The Rose Code and highly recommend it. Thank you to Harper Audio for allowing me to listen to this advanced copy of this audiobook through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Candie

    I really enjoyed this book a lot! It was very engaging and full of mystery, suspense, heartache and companionship. It kept me guessing right until the very end who the traitor was, and I never did figure it out. This is a great story of three very strong women who were not afraid to stand up for themselves and push for what they deserved in a time where it was not so common to do so. They were great examples of some of the hardships faced during the war and the bonds formed over these shared exp I really enjoyed this book a lot! It was very engaging and full of mystery, suspense, heartache and companionship. It kept me guessing right until the very end who the traitor was, and I never did figure it out. This is a great story of three very strong women who were not afraid to stand up for themselves and push for what they deserved in a time where it was not so common to do so. They were great examples of some of the hardships faced during the war and the bonds formed over these shared experiences. I absolutely loved the relationships between these ladies! I knew nothing about Bletchley Park prior to reading this and found learning about it very interesting. I really related with Beth and feel like I would have absolutely loved being a code breaker; it's very intriguing and I'm just itching to try and crack a code. It also made me so mad how easy it was for a group of men to have a women locked up in a sanitarium with basically nothing to back it up. I wonder how many times this has happened? Makes me so sad and angry to think about. I read this book as an audiobook as well and the narrator sounded phenomenal; it is quite a long audiobook but I just flew through it. I often find it hard to follow along with fiction audiobooks and save my audiobooks for non fiction, but this was done extremely well. It was very easy to tell the difference between the characters and each characters voice seemed to match them perfectly and I couldn't imagine them sounding any differently. I would definitely listen to books from this narrator again. If you are a reader of historical fiction then you are going to love this book and I definitely recommend it! I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    EXPERTLY CRAFTED WRITING BLENDING HISTORY, INTRIGUE AND DRAMA. SUMMARY 1940. Three very different women pass through the secret gates of Bletchley Park to help break German codes during World War II. Debutant Osla Kendall wants to prove herself as more than a society girl, and she puts her fluent German to use as a translator. Mab Churt works the code breaking machines as she hides a secret past. Oslo and Mab recruit a local girl, Beth Finch, who has a brain for crossword puzzles. Despite Beth’s EXPERTLY CRAFTED WRITING BLENDING HISTORY, INTRIGUE AND DRAMA. SUMMARY 1940. Three very different women pass through the secret gates of Bletchley Park to help break German codes during World War II. Debutant Osla Kendall wants to prove herself as more than a society girl, and she puts her fluent German to use as a translator. Mab Churt works the code breaking machines as she hides a secret past. Oslo and Mab recruit a local girl, Beth Finch, who has a brain for crossword puzzles. Despite Beth’s domineering mother’s opposition, she soon becomes one of Bletchley’s few female cryptanalysts. The three women become fast friends. But soon the war, personal loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy tear the three friends apart and sends one of the women to an asylum. 1947. The three friends-turned-enemies are reunited for a common purpose. A traitor, who was responsible for destroying their friendship, has emerged from the Bletchley Park shadows. Osla, Mab, and Beth must work together to crack the Rode Code to prove the traitor’s guilt. REVIEW THE ROSE CODE is a captivating story of three women who set out to prove themselves during the turmoil of World War II. Osla, Mab and Beth’s characters, are delightfully well-developed and serve as the pillars of this captivating story. Author Kate Quinn’s writing is expertly crafted, blending history, intrigue and drama. She nimbly juggles multiple time lines and delivers a story with perfect pacing. THE ROSE CODE offers mystery and suspense, fearless female characters,, a nefarious spy, and even a delightful war time book club thrown in for good measure. Quinn is a lover of history and the best-selling author of The Huntress (2019) and The Alice Network (2017). The audio book’s narrator Saskia Maaeleveld’s performance was outstanding. Her ability to voice multiple characters, her pacing and her emotional tone elevates the story. Quinn’s dual time line is easy follow with Maaeleveld clear inflection. Her voice captures your attention and drops you into the heart of the story. Thanks to #Netgalley and #HarperAudio for an advance copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review. Publisher William Morrow/HarperAudio Published March 9, 2021 Narrated Saskia Maaeleveld Review www.bluestockingreviews.com

  23. 4 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    Rating 3.75 I gave into the hype. I'm been going back and forth on WW2 books, there are just so many and when you've read so many, you want something different. Read a lot of reviews on this one, saw the longest line at my library, so I figured let me check it out. Finally, after a long wait the audio arrived and off I went. The Rose Code tells the story of female code breakers at Bletchley Park and their top secret jobs that they had. The story revolves around three characters - Osla, Mab, and Be Rating 3.75 I gave into the hype. I'm been going back and forth on WW2 books, there are just so many and when you've read so many, you want something different. Read a lot of reviews on this one, saw the longest line at my library, so I figured let me check it out. Finally, after a long wait the audio arrived and off I went. The Rose Code tells the story of female code breakers at Bletchley Park and their top secret jobs that they had. The story revolves around three characters - Osla, Mab, and Beth. You learn about each one, how they meet, their backgrounds, and how they become the best of friends....and eventually enemies. You see, there is a spy at Bletchley Park and eventually Beth, who is the smartest of the all, figures it out. But she doesn't quite know who it is and she is eventually pinned for it, put away in an asylum and she sees out Osla and Mab for help. Can they do it? With all that has happened in the past between them? Hmmm....this one was unique. I thought it was OK, thought there was a lot of fluff and drama added in and probably could have been trimmed down. A perfectly decent story, but one I will probably not remember. The audio was good but I found myself more wanting to listen to finish the story before it was due back to the library then to hear what happened next. I liked the aspect that it was tied into real history of the female code breakers, liked they had a not to Turing in it and an appearance, loved the literary Mad Hatters club they had and mentioning of books. But I just felt it was OK palate cleanser. I'm probably tough on WW2 books and maybe I should stay away for a bit.

  24. 5 out of 5

    VB Book Reviews

    4.5 Stars! "Three girls during a war. Once the best of friends. Until D-Day, the fatal day, when they had splintered apart and become two girls who couldn't stand the sight of each other, and one who had disappeared into a madhouse." Release Date - March 9, 2021 Kate Quinn is quickly becoming one of my top go-to authors when it comes to World War II era historical fiction. After the phenomenal ride that was The Alice Network, I couldn't wait to get my grabby hands (ears, rather) on 4.5 Stars! "Three girls during a war. Once the best of friends. Until D-Day, the fatal day, when they had splintered apart and become two girls who couldn't stand the sight of each other, and one who had disappeared into a madhouse." Release Date - March 9, 2021 Kate Quinn is quickly becoming one of my top go-to authors when it comes to World War II era historical fiction. After the phenomenal ride that was The Alice Network, I couldn't wait to get my grabby hands (ears, rather) on this one. I listened to the audio of this book which is over 15 hours long. Yet, I was riveted nearly the entire time. We have three women, who could not be more different: Osla - A Canadian-born debutante and heiress and the war-time girlfriend of a prince. She's bound and determined to prove that she's capable of being more than just a pretty face. Mab - (My personal fave) A fierce, no-nonsense broad from the East End of London, who just wants a better life for her and her little sister. Oh, and she's 5 ft 11 inches and has killer eye brows. Beth - A sheltered, shy wall-flower who has always been under her evil, controlling mother's thumb. She's insanely smart with a brain that leaves most men perplexed. A top code breaker who loves her dog. They meet, become roommates, and quickly begin working with the British as German code breakers, sworn to secrecy by the Official Secrets Act of 1939. This book is so fast-paced and intriguing. It was a little different than The Alice Network and really any other WWII Hist Fic story I've read in that the focus was really 100% on the spy and intelligence side of World War II. There is no family component. What I mean by that is, there are no families on the page being torn apart, no one being sent to concentration camps, etc. The only bit of that part of the war we see is from Beth's family who has to deal with rations and with having to billet Osla and Mab. I was so sucked in by all that was Bletchley Park and ALL of these brilliant characters. I read that the story was inspired by real events and people and now I need to watch The Bletchley Circle (TV Show) and The Imitation Game (movie) ASAP!! In the 1947 timeline, the former friends are all estranged when Osla receives a code to break hinting at the fact that there was a traitor in their ranks at Bletchley Park years ago who might've been responsible for their downfall. We also begin to learn that Beth might've been too good at her job as a cryptanalyst, and someone out there wants her to forget all that she discovered... With these women also comes three different love stories which wasn't something I was expecting to find, but let me tell you something... I was HERE FOR IT!! OMG, to all my romance reader friends out there, please check this author out. Her books would fit so well in the romance genre. There's still plenty of love, swoony heroes, and yes, alllll the steam to keep my inner romance reader totally satisfied! I will just say that Francis Grey was my absolute favorite. He was a scarred previous soldier turned war poet and had this sweet, quiet nature. I won't say which heroine he caught the eye of, but my God, did I gobble their story up! This was a heavily character-driven story until the last quarter or so, when I was able to put the pieces together and the countdown begins to the consequences we do NOT want for one of our heroines. There's one last code to break and it could very well save her life. This book had it all: secrecy, betrayal, and intensely brave women whose stories deserve to be remembered. Ever since reading The Nightingale, I am hungry for more stories about women during wartime; their struggles and their heroism. "Duty, honor, oaths. They're not just for soldiers. Not just for men." I already ordered a hardback copy for my personal collection. Let me stress what an excellent job the narrator - Saskia Maarleveld - does here. It's hard to believe that once person did all these voices because they were completely distinct. I never had trouble trying to figure out who was speaking. The only reason I didn't give this book a full five stars was because it lulled for me a tiny bit in the middle. I didn't love it quite as much as I did The Alice Network, but it was still fantastic. This was such an entertaining read and I highly recommend it. All I want to know is, when is this book being made into a movie? "Some codes will never be broken." An ARC provided by William Morrow and Custom House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    I yelled, I cried, I cheered. Three POVs + dual timelines. You've been warned. As always, Kate's Author's Note filled in a good amount of Actual History I Didn't Previously Know, and I put this down feeling absolutely elated at the ending. She makes beautiful use of the "found family" trope (is it a trope? it's a good one, regardless) and weaves a story that touches on a LOT of lesser-known (to me) events of the period. All three of the main ladies were so different and so tenacious, which made it I yelled, I cried, I cheered. Three POVs + dual timelines. You've been warned. As always, Kate's Author's Note filled in a good amount of Actual History I Didn't Previously Know, and I put this down feeling absolutely elated at the ending. She makes beautiful use of the "found family" trope (is it a trope? it's a good one, regardless) and weaves a story that touches on a LOT of lesser-known (to me) events of the period. All three of the main ladies were so different and so tenacious, which made it easy to invest in their individual stories alongside the story they created together. I loved Mab immediately, and by the end she was giving off vibes of a certain ex-spy, with her striking figure and cocked hat. Beth put me in mind of the main character from the Queen's Gambit (also named Beth!), able to see patterns and puzzles unspooling in her mind's eye. I adored Osla, whose sense of fun assured the book was never a slog. The supporting cast were also stellar, from Harry and Sheila to Dilly and Mrs Knox to Peggy and Giles and the rest of the Mad Hatters. Even Philip, of whom I'm no IRL fan. The Easter egg made me squeal with delight. I was NOT expecting things to come to a head the way they did at the end, but it all played out beautifully, even if I'm still angry about Coventry. Pre-review nonsense: (view spoiler)[October 2020 update: Umm how did I manage to skip reading the synopsis til just today? Because Kate Quinn is THE auto-read author, for me. Don't care what it is, GIMME IT. Clearly. But omggggg this synopsis?? Kate didn't you say you weren't doing any more books with multi-timelines? KAAAATE I CAN'T WAAAAAIT. August 2020 update: OOOOH THIS COVERRRR March 2020: (hide spoiler)]

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alayne Emmett

    Another wonderful read from Kate Quinn. I’ve read her other books on the Second World War and throughly enjoyed them. This one was so interesting as well a lovely long read I wish I could give it more stars as it certainly deserves it. The dual time line was great it starts in 1947 at the time of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip and then goes back to the Second World War. A wonderful read. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this boo Another wonderful read from Kate Quinn. I’ve read her other books on the Second World War and throughly enjoyed them. This one was so interesting as well a lovely long read I wish I could give it more stars as it certainly deserves it. The dual time line was great it starts in 1947 at the time of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip and then goes back to the Second World War. A wonderful read. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eva K (journeyofthepages)

    The Rose Code by Kate Quinn is a phenomenal historical fiction novel and the audiobook is excellently narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. Thank you NetGalley and HarperAudio for a copy of this book for review - I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hadn't read a Kate Quinn historical fiction novel before and now I want to read them all. One of my absolute favorite WWII films is The Imitation Game which is a story about the codebreakers of Bletchley Park. Well, The Rose Code is also about the codebreakers of Ble The Rose Code by Kate Quinn is a phenomenal historical fiction novel and the audiobook is excellently narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. Thank you NetGalley and HarperAudio for a copy of this book for review - I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hadn't read a Kate Quinn historical fiction novel before and now I want to read them all. One of my absolute favorite WWII films is The Imitation Game which is a story about the codebreakers of Bletchley Park. Well, The Rose Code is also about the codebreakers of Bletchley Park but better! Because it is centered around the experiences of three strong female characters! Learning about the strong women of WWII always inspires me - they too played such a critical role in the war efforts and it's fabulous that so many authors take the time to have their stories told. Kate Quinn told the stories of three women whose lives were interwoven as codebreakers and roommates during the war. While personalities, morals and life interests often conflicted, their dedication to the war effort united them. This is a story not only about the war and the important work these women did but also about their personal experiences finding who they are, falling in love and living a full life, even in the midst of a devastating war. Secrets, love, betrayal, hope, friendship, and loyalty are a few strong themes in The Rose Code and all of them make for an enticing and truly captivating story. If you are a historical fiction and mystery lover, I highly recommend this book! PubDay is March 9th!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Want to go behind the scenes of The Rose Code? Check out this interview with Kate Quinn! https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... Want to go behind the scenes of The Rose Code? Check out this interview with Kate Quinn! https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    "It was exhausting, spending your day being stupid. Over three weeks she'd been working at the Cottage: staring at blocks of Enigma code, trying to manipulate her cardboard rods the way she'd been shown, trying to make sense of the nonsense. Hour after hour, day after day." The Rose Code is yet another historical fiction novel set during WWII but with a rather unique storyline. Although from completely different backgrounds, Osla, Mab and Beth befriend each other and end up 'doing their bit' at B "It was exhausting, spending your day being stupid. Over three weeks she'd been working at the Cottage: staring at blocks of Enigma code, trying to manipulate her cardboard rods the way she'd been shown, trying to make sense of the nonsense. Hour after hour, day after day." The Rose Code is yet another historical fiction novel set during WWII but with a rather unique storyline. Although from completely different backgrounds, Osla, Mab and Beth befriend each other and end up 'doing their bit' at Bletchley Park. There is a second storyline occurring directly after the war, involving a secret coded letter sent in a moment of desperation and a possible traitor. The majority of the novel revolves around these three young women and their top secret jobs at BP, although it often seemed less focused on detailed historical information and more focused on the day to day drama. Just to spice things up a bit there is also an appearance made by Prince Philip, albeit in a semi-fictional role. Mystery, intrigue, history, romance and girl-power, are all rolled up into one story. For a rather lengthy book the pages flew by and it was encouraging to find an author shining a spotlight on the important work many woman performed during the war, while needing to be so secretive that they couldn't divulge to anyone what they actually did each day. It does make me want to learn more about Bletchley Park (beyond the important contributions by Alan Turing) and seek out more information about individual women who worked there. Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks and LT Early Reviewers program for providing me with a galley copy to review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Best Work of Historical Fiction I've Ever Read. I won this book on Goodreads. The characters were magnificent and the story was amazing. I loved learning about 6lthe codebreakers at Bletchly Park during WWII. Best Work of Historical Fiction I've Ever Read. I won this book on Goodreads. The characters were magnificent and the story was amazing. I loved learning about 6lthe codebreakers at Bletchly Park during WWII.

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