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.”
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
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?
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.