TranscriptionBook - 2018
In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.
Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.
Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit, and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.
From the critics
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“Do not equate nationalism with patriotism... Nationalism is the first step on the road to Fascism.”
"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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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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