The Bletchley Women
The Bletchley Women by Patricia Adrian follows two women as they leave their homes in 1940 and start working at Bletchley Park. Both women know German, but they are from opposite walks of life. Rose is an educated woman, but she grew up on a farm and expected to marry soon. Evie is the daughter of a an English lord who is expected to marry well and spend her time doing good works. Another offer comes their way. The two women can help the war effort by decoding messages of the enemy. They cannot, though, tell anyone the true nature of their work. The ladies become close during the long days spent translating missives. The Bletchley Women is told from Rose Wiley and Evie Milton’s point-of-view (for the most part). If the war had not happened, they each would have married and led lives similar to their mothers. The story has a slow start. The book becomes more interesting when Rosie and Evie begin working together at Bletchley. I felt that the characters lacked development. I wish the author had taken the time in the beginning to introduce them properly instead of diving into the story. We meet Lucy Stevens later in the story. She joins Rose and Evie in the German Air Section. The Bletchley Women is easy to read, but the pacing is a little slow. The author is wordy with her detailed descriptions. Some of the sections on decoding the messages are confusing and I found them to be dull. I ended up skimming through those areas. There is a lack of action in the story. I tried, but I could not get invested in the story. The lackluster main characters, the dull decoding room, and the officious men left me yawning. I believe that The Bletchley Women is too similar to other novels set in this time period. It needed some intrigue to give it some zip. The Bletchley Women transports readers back to 1940 inside Bletchley Park where three women work to decode enemy transmission.
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