Books

The Girl from Bletchley Park – Kathleen McGurl

I am always fascinated about stories to do with Bletchley Park, whether fact or fiction, so this choice of book was a must for me.

1942 – Pamela has the chance to go to university and study maths. But she has the opportunity to do something for the war effort and it seems rather unrealistically her skills are in need. Deferring university she finds herself, in the uniform of a Wren and at Bletchley Park. Here she meets lifelong friends, Clarissa, Norah, Edwin and Frank. But whilst she is swept away in the work of the Park and the thought of potential love there is something not quite right about one of these people. Where exactly do their loyalties lie in a time of war?

Julia is Pamela’s granddaughter. Julia’s life seems idyllic, own software company, big house, two growing sons and a happy marriage. However it seems that all is not what it seems in the present day. Julia’s time is completely filled, but when with the help of her brother she find some photos of her grandmother in the place that was Bletchley Park, Julia becomes fascinated by a part of her grandmothers life she knew nothing about.

Whilst the secrets of Pamela’s life comes out through photos and reminiscences of a friend, it is the solace with which Julia finds her self seeking whilst her own life has imploded with it’s own worst kept secrets. As life changes beyond recognition for Julia, she finds herself in the position of thinking about secrets both past and potentially future.

This dual timeline novel was interesting, I liked the strength of both of the main female characters, but found the men to very weak. Perhaps that was the point? But I would have like a bit more of a mix. I could positively have shaken Julia’s husband. This is a great insight into the work of those at Bletchley Park and a good piece of historical fiction.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

The Girl from Bletchley Park is out now.