Book - 2018
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Juliet Armstrong is a radio producer in a 1950s London that is recovering from the war as much as she is. During World War Two, Juliet transcribed conversations between an MI5 agent and a ring of suspected German sympathizers, which quickly plunged Juliet into a treacherous world of code words and secret meetings. Now her routine is upended by an meeting with a mysterious man from her past. Haunted by the actions of her past and a very real threat in the present, Juliet realizes she cannot escape the repercussions of her work for the government.
Publisher: [Toronto, Ontario] : Bond Street Books, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780385691529
Branch Call Number: ATK
Characteristics: 336 pages


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Aug 18, 2019

I have a question - did anyone notice the clues to the surprise ending?
I listened to the audiobook and completely missed them.
Is it worth reading it on the page to find the clues?

Aug 15, 2019

This was my introduction to the author, and I was impressed. I am not much of a historical fiction fan, but this novel might have changed my mind. I found the story interesting, and the protagonist was great, witty in introspection and in her interactions with others. As she learns about the spy game during WWII and shortly thereafter, so too, does the reader. Distinctly British in setting and place, I even liked looking up the odd phrases that turn up. We learn that the first rule of the spy game is to trust no one, and it is the motif of the entire plot line.
I understand that the author has a lot of books published, and I'm going to start looking for them.

seowen Jul 25, 2019

Set in World War II the main character Juliet's dry wit and humour is a draw as the clerical Juliet turns spy. This imaginative tale of historical fiction jumps from 1940 to 1950 showing the effects of one's past on one's present. In the last part of the book Juliet is forced to confront her reality and the effects of her spying in a way that disrupts the pacing and shocks the reader, the intended affect of the author I think. The ending was a shocker, their were no hints within the book of its conclusion.

Jul 22, 2019

Uneven in its delivery, TRANSCRIPTION is not one of my favorites by Kate Atkinson. Still, the author’s intelligence shines throughout, particularly as it pertains to her writing style, tone, and character development. What’s more, this historic fiction taught me a little about British espionage during WWII while it managed to keep me entertained with a final twist and turn I didn’t see coming.

Jun 21, 2019

The publisher is doubtless embarrassed.

Jun 17, 2019

It was interesting to read about WWII in London from a female perspective. I found the ending confusing - I didn't understand it. I also enjoyed Warlight by Michael Ondajtee.

May 31, 2019

Disguised as a “spy novel”, the protagonist Juliet’s witty, sometimes aloof even flippant style quickly became infectious over me, an unexpected mood kindling when read about WWII.
Author’s holding back or giving out content against chronological order were felt more a matter of plot design or creating suspense.

I found the identity play (political, patriotic, gender, class, in changing time, place, relationship from personal level to global stage) is the most intriguing, fascinating, profound, and more than thrilling as experienced in mystery or thriller read.

May 16, 2019

Feels like a good short story expanded into a confusing, meandering spy novel sited in the years in Britain before WW2. Protagonist is a secretary.

Apr 25, 2019

I became a Kate Atkinson fan after reading the Jackson Brodie series (Case Histories), but have not enjoyed any of her other books, include Transcription, nearly as much.

DBRL_ANNEG Apr 23, 2019

I generally enjoyed this Cold War spy thriller, but mostly for the bits of dry humor that Kate Atkinson managed to sprinkle throughout rather than the mystery that unfolded. Atkinson does a phenomenal job of building characters who confound and amuse. The story itself, though, kind of meandered here and there and lacked some of the suspense that I was hoping for going into it. Granted, now that I know how it played out, I think it would be interesting to re-look at the story and see just how Atkinson laid out the groundwork for the twisty tale she was creating.

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Jul 22, 2019

“Do not equate nationalism with patriotism... Nationalism is the first step on the road to Fascism.”

ArapahoeAnnaL Dec 18, 2018

"She wished she could see her son one last time... Tell him that nothing mattered and that that was a freedom, not a burden." - last page of book


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Aug 09, 2019

Lots of readers have commented on this novel, so I'll try to be brief. I am not usually a fan of history novels, but MI5 in WWII captured my attention. I thoroughly enjoyed the action, the two time lines, the drama and intrigue. The first rule of spying is do not trust anyone, and this book is wrought with distrust, all the way to the end. But the best part of this novel is the witty, sardonic comments by the protagonist- "Reader I did not marry him" being just a singular example. This was my first Kate Atkinson exposure and I admire her writing style. It says a lot that her afterward was every bit as enjoyable as the novel itself. I plan to investigate her other works soon.

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