Friday, October 21, 2022

SECRET LIVES by Anna Jensen, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

"What did you do in the war Granny?"

I have been fascinated by cryptography used during WWII for a long while. I loved this book that is dual time, recounting Grandma Alice during the war at a secret place in Britain where she decodes vital transmissions. The modern time tells of a visit by granddaughter Rosie as she tries to uncover what Alice really did because Alice never talks about it.

The journey that Alice takes from the first crossword puzzle in The Times, unfolds naturally and gives interesting details into code breaking and every day lives of the girls who would help in the war effort. “In this invisible war, she was not just a backroom girl with a helpful brain, lending a hand when allowed; in this conflict, every decision she took made an impact, rippled beyond herself.”

I would love to visit Bletchly Park sometime but this foray into the past reveals an intriguing story of what it must have been like for one of the code breakers during a critical time. The more recent timeline shows how a secret, long buried can bring generations together.

Totally absorbing story, well worth the read.

*I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a slight faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
February 1942
Alice Stallard, encouraged by her two friends, submits her entry to the Daily Telegraph prize crossword – a crossword she solves in record time. She thinks nothing more about it until called into the study of her Cambridge University professor where she’s invited to an interview at the mysterious Bletchley Park near Bedford.
Once at Bletchley Park, Alice is confronted with the Official Secrets Act and months of training for a job no one will talk about. After being moved from one training centre to another, her final posting is to Station 53a of the Special Operations Executive – Winston Churchill’s ‘Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’.
But what of when the War is over? Will Alice keep her promise of silence?

February 1998
A-levels loom on the horizon for 18-year old Rosie Mason. She had expected her favourite subject to be History but instead is finding it dull and lifeless. Perhaps the drama and romance she was hoping for can be found elsewhere – in her grandmother’s memories. But Gran is reluctant to share any war stories, changing the subject at every one of Rosie’s questions.
Determined to conquer Gran’s reticence, Rosie decides to spend her long post-exam holiday with her grandparents. After days of trying, Gran agrees to show Rosie a few photos -- and the first edition copy of C S Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.
Only when Rosie stumbles on a handwritten note tucked between the pages of Screwtape does the silence of decades threaten to unravel. 

Available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.