5 reviews

The Rose Code: A Novel
by Kate Quinn

Published: 2021-03-09T00:0
Paperback : 656 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 5 members
“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 ...

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“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...

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Discussion Questions

Did you know much about the codebreakers at Bletchley Park prior to reading the novel?

Why was working as a codebreaker the right path for Osla, Mab and Beth? What did each woman hope to achieve at Bletchley Park?

Could you have worked as a codebreaker back then? Why or why not?

We see the trio become good friends but in 1947—they are enemies. Why do you think the author decided to tell the story in the two timelines? Did it impact how you read about the friendship in the early ’40s?

Each woman experiences a romance during their time at Bletchley Park. For Osla, it’s a romance with Prince Phillip. Do you think it would have lasted longer if Osla could have told him about her work? Or were they always fated just to be friends?

Mab’s romance with Francis is sweet but then tragic. The author spends a lot of time talking about Francis’ PTSD from fighting in WW1—why was it important for the author to include those sections about the harsh realities of war?

And Beth begins a relationship with the married Harry. What drew them together?

We eventually learn the true nature of the betrayal. Both Francis and Mab’s daughter is tragically killed in a bomb strike. Mab blames Osla for not holding more tightly to her daughter and eventually they all find out that Beth knew that attack would happen. Let’s talk in detail about this betrayal.

Beth believes she made the right call because she couldn’t sacrifice her oath. Do you believe she was in the wrong? What would you have done if you were Beth?

Throughout the novel, we know there was a traitor at Bletchley Park. Who did you originally think it was? Were you surprised it was Giles?

What did you think about the ending?

The Rose Code will be made in a TV series. Who do you think should play the main parts? What do you hope is included in the show and also expanded upon?


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Overall rating:
by bibliosara (see profile) 10/10/22

One of Quinn's most recent historical novels, this fascinating glimpse into the workings of Bletchley Park seamlessly weaves together real characters and events with fictional. Although a lengthy book,... (read more)

by Catniss (see profile) 09/24/22

by BBednarek (see profile) 08/28/22

by [email protected] (see profile) 07/10/22

Loved this book.

by SUPERMOM2 (see profile) 06/23/22

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