The Rose Code: A Novel - book cover
  • Publisher : William Morrow
  • Published : 09 Mar 2021
  • Pages : 656
  • ISBN-10 : 006305941X
  • ISBN-13 : 9780063059412
  • Language : English

The Rose Code: A Novel

"The reigning queen of historical fiction" --  Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue  

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...

Editorial Reviews

"The hidden history of Bletchley Park has been waiting for a master storyteller like Kate Quinn to bring it to life. The Rose Code effortlessly evokes the frantic, nervy, exuberant world of the Enigma codebreakers through the eyes of three extraordinary women who work in tireless secrecy to defeat the Nazis. Quinn's meticulous research and impeccable characterization shine through this gripping and beautifully executed novel." -- Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of Her Last Flight

"The Rose Code is everything you love about an unputdownable novel and more. In her signature fashion, Kate Quinn expertly and vividly breaks wide open the secret world of Bletchley Park's remarkable codebreakers. An unforgettable war story to be sure, but also a tale of friendship, fortitude, and forgiveness. Utterly satisfying." -- Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things

"A knockout of a story, written by the reigning queen of historical fiction. Quinn's trio of heroines practically leap off the page in this stunning novel, which melds spy-hunting with love stories that will stir your soul. A book for the ages." -- Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

"Kate Quinn does it again! This rollicking tale of espionage and female solidarity is a tour de force that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. For the quirky, complicated and unforgettable women of Bletchley Park, beneath the lipstick and lace lurks a gritty life of danger and daring. From frantic efforts to decode Nazi messages to the consequences of treason and secret-keeping in the post-war jubilation, there's never a dull moment. The Rose Code is pure genius and Quinn's best... so far."
-- Stephanie Dray, New York Times Bestselling author of The Women of Chateau Lafayette

"Quinn (The Huntress) returns to WWII in this immersive saga. [Her] page-turning narrative is enhanced by her richly drawn characters and by the fascinating code-breaking techniques, which come alive via Quinn's extensive historical detail. This does not disappoint." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Quinn writes with an immediacy and level of detail that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Her latest is a deft blend of romance, mystery, and suspense that will appeal to lovers of those genres, and to her many fans." -- Library Journal (starred review)

"By turns heartbreaking, fascinating, and mysterious, Quinn's latest historical novel is likely to turn up on 2021 best lists." -- Booklist (starred review)...

Readers Top Reviews

I had to force myself to put the book down to sleep. The plot moves along nicely so it is not a slow read. Worth the time if you like WWII period fiction.
I’ve read The Alice Network and The Huntress each in one sitting—the prose is engaging, the characters smart, and overall both are a step above a lot of other historical fiction I’ve read. The Rose Code is a tremendous read, my favorite out of the three. There’s a lot to the story but it doesn’t drag. The three main characters are both flawed and have redeeming qualities—none are irredeemable, and while backstories are fleshed out, they don’t take away from the plot. Quinn’s development of a certainly neurodiverse, possibly autistic, character was well done, not condescending, but certainly representative of the challenges (and wins) being wired differently can have. I saw a lot of myself in Beth (and her colleagues) and have a bit of renewed hope for a place that welcomes what neurodiverse people can do. I’ll be rereading this one, as well as revisiting the Bletchley Circle series I enjoyed when it first came out. I highly recommend The Rose Code to other readers who enjoy complex characters and compelling historical fiction.
I have read two of Kate Quinn's other novels; The Alice Network and The Huntress, both of them fabulous too. I was entrenched with these three female characters; I felt every emotion they were feeling. Alot of surprises and twists and turns and I especially enjoyed reading the Afterward and learning so much more . I knew a little about Bentchley Park but after reading this book, learned so much more. I read alot of WW2 historical fiction and learn from each book and when I think about how brave, how tough, these men and women were, what they had to live through, I have so much respect and admiration for them. This is a Must Read book.
Bletchley Park, and the important work taking place there, was unknown to the average English citizen but to Osla, Mab, and Beth, it was about to become their whole world. Using each of their individual talents, these three women will help change the course of World War II. As members of the famous codebreaking team, these women will help defeat the Nazi army as it makes its way across the continent. Along the way, Beth realizes that there is a traitor in their midst and receives the ultimate punishment to keep that information hidden. Together, the trio brings the traitor to light and mend fences for past grievances along the way. I have long been interested in the roles women played in World War II and the story of the codebreakers, who were among some of the brightest minds of the time, is one of the best. While there were many brilliant men at Bletchley Park, such as Alan Turing, the creator of the Turing machine, the use of young, bright female students was unheard of. Women's colleges were scoured and the best of the best were brought to Bletchley to serve their country. Kate Quinn has proven she is a master of World War II historical fiction. The attention to the details of the codebreakers' lives is exquisite. Using the names and histories of actual female codebreakers such as Osla Benning and Valerie Glassboro (grandmother of Kate Middleton). While this not a quick read, 626 pages to be exact, it is a story that drew me in and kept my attention. I know that when purchasing a novel by Quinn, that I am going to be told a tale that will keep me interested from page one.
Normally I would pass on a book like this. I've been inhaling Gothic thrillers with duel timelines for months now. I am so very happy I picked this up! I didn't want it to end. The characters were women I wanted to be friends with. I didn't want their story to come to an end. I was worried about the hefty 600+ pages but found myself pleasantly surprised at how fast the book went. I was so drawn into the story and mystery that I would lose myself in the pages. I read a lot and order a lot of those books from Amazon but this is one of the first times I have so throughly enjoyed a book that I felt the need to leave a review. It made me laugh, cry, and feel outrage for what characters have to go through. I felt as if I had become a part of their lives. Kate Quinn writes so beautifully, drawing you in and painting a vivid picture of a very specific time and place. It also left me wanting to know so much more about the real Bletchley Park women and the secrets they held. I highly recommend this book!

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