Transcription by Kate Atkinson Review

Another fantastic novel by Kate Atkinson. I adore everything she writes including this book. It begins in 1980 then flashes back through Juliet Armstrong’s life in WWII and then in 1950. Juliet was recruited to MI5 during the Second World War as a typist, at first she was doing fairly dull office work until she was drafted to a specific mission. An MI5 agent was pretending to be in contact with the Nazis and was running a group of Nazi sympathisers in Britain, they passed all their information to him instead of Germany actually getting hold of it. It’s Juliet’s job to transcribe all the meetings. The sexist attitude towards Juliet in the 40s is hard to read, it was how they treated women at the time but it made me so angry! It got a bit better when we get to the 1950s but not much.

In the 50s Juliet has left the secret service and now works for the BBC producing radio shows for schools. But she starts to get paranoid that she’s being followed, she recives a threatening note. Is her past coming back to haunt her?

The book is a fascinating window into the 40s & 50s in Britain. It’s got none of the usual violence of a spy novel but it does have tension and I felt a strong connection to Juliet. Definitely worth a read.

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