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Summary

The brand-new historical novel from the best-selling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress!

Winner of Historical Novel of the Year in NetGalley UK's Books of 2021

1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.

Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.

Vivacious debutante Osla has the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses - but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, working to translate decoded enemy secrets. Self-made Mab masters the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and the poverty of her East-End London upbringing. And shy local girl Beth is the outsider who trains as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.

1947, London. 

Seven years after they first meet, on the eve of the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, disaster threatens. Osla, Mab and Beth are estranged, their friendship torn apart by secrets and betrayal. Yet now they must race against the clock to crack one final code together, before it’s too late, for them and for their country.

If you loved The Crown, don’t miss this riveting historical novel....

©2021 Kate Quinn (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"It’s epic in every way, brilliantly researched, beautifully written and completely unputdownable. Everyone needs it on their list for 2021." (Jenny Ashcroft)

"An intricate play of love, loss, betrayal and redemption, Kate Quinn’s novel is every bit as complex and fascinating as the codes being broken at Bletchley Park.... Impossibly gripping from start to finish, The Rose Code is a cracking good read!" (Celia Rees)

"Immersive, thrilling and packed with wonderful characters - some fictional, others real. I absolutely loved every page of this incredible, meticulously researched book." (Jill Mansell)

What listeners say about The Rose Code

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It should have been great.

At heart there’s a fabulous story here but it was utterly ruined by sloppiness. First of all the author is American and made no effort to keep clunking Americanisms out of the text. It’s chock full of words no British person would ever say like bangs, stoop, sidewalk etc. If the author doesn’t know how English people speak, surely an editor should. Secondly the narrator was clearly instructed to pronounce words in an American style which sounded ridiculous in an upper class accent. Accents did wander a bit too. Poor Beth was from somewhere up north at times and from the Welsh borders at others. Last and most hilariously, the racist old ghoul, Prince Philip is many things but I’m pretty sure he was never any kind of Loootenant.

13 people found this helpful

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Absolutely wonderful

l first fell upon Kate Quinns books quite a while ago. the roman quartet, which, frustratingly, is not available on audible. l started to read the first waiting for a tram and after page one, l went back to the book shop and was hysterical with pleasure to find they had all four, AND the two Borgia books. l waited like a greyhound in the slips for her next three. Characters, plots, tragedy, romance, adventure, forget everything else and just read them all. lm quite jealous of you because even though l read them or listen to them over and over again, nothing beats the first time.
l quite like this narrator. Her accents don't actually annoy me, but it's not too much to get oxbridge college names right. Keys College. l know it doesn't look like that, but it is.Maudlin college. l know, it doesnt look like that either, but it is. So a little homework would be good. The plot wasn't that special, but lots of things happened, and the characters drew me along really well. Really, the last two books have been like that, but l like the style. Will l listen to it again? Of course. And that, is probably telling you all you need to know.

6 people found this helpful

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An enthralling and gripping listen.

This was an almost thoroughly enjoyable listen. But the book could have done with editing by someone from the European side of the pond. Motor cars, not automobiles. "Write to me" rather than "Write me". And various other glitches that didn't really spoil my enjoyment. But there were some mispronunciations by the narrator and I really was irritated by repeated references to Kes-wick. (For our transatlantic cousins, it is pronounced Kezzick). Otherwise I would unreservedly recommend this audiobook!

3 people found this helpful

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Annoying narration.

Why have an American narrator? The accents were so off. I am from London. The cockney character veered between anyone from London to hints of Australian and changed throughout the book. The so called upper class accents of that time were non existent. Everyone, particularly the male characters, seemed only able to approximate a British accent by being unable to pronounce middle Rs. A strange back of the throat lisping noise that drove me mad......and for 17 hours. As for Dilly Knox and Winston Churchill! Churchill sounded slightly Scots. I have really enjoyed enjoyed the narrator’s performance of the author’s previous two books, but this was spoiled by the poor choice of narrator for me. Never mind the mispronunciation of place names, e.g. Keswick! Too many to mention. And I did not find this book anything like the standard of earlier works. It seems to be riding on the back of the success of The Crown by dragging in the marriage between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip when it is irrelevant to the plot.

2 people found this helpful

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Fabulous story - sadly ruined by poor English diction.

An intriguing story, which took a while to get going. The historical references appear accurate and well researched. Such a shame that the same due diligence was not given to the English diction, grammar and punctuation.

The narrator is clearly NOT a native English speaker as pronunciation of well known place names was incredibly irritating - Kezzick please, never Kes-wick! And definitely COVentry not CUVentry! Most irritatingly, there should alway be the preposition ‘to’ used when using the verb ‘writing’ - “I shall write TO you,” not “I shall write you!” Americanisms abound, which really spoiled the true Englishness of the story.

Such a shame.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable listen

I enjoyed the story but feel it was a shame the narrator used the American pronunciation of words such as “status” and “process” and many others throughout the book, also the accents got mixed up a bit but then there were several accents to deal with for one person. I would have enjoyed a multi person narration better.

2 people found this helpful

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Jarring Narration...

Shame about this book. The story was good but the narrator was mispronouncing words and breaking my immersion in the story. Some of her accents were a bit dodgy too. It was clearly an American putting on a good English 'posh' accent but then falling over local accents or the pronounciation of commonly used 1940's terminology. Should have watched a few British WWII films first...

2 people found this helpful

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Best audible so far

Love war stories, best listen so far. Narrated very good for me as a non native English (Dutch) person. Great storie line, not to predictable but also not the biggest surprise.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting story based around 3 women.

Struggled with this at times but persevered. Pronunciation of 'Keswick' was especially annoying. Have listened to The Alice Network & The Nightingale. Do like Saskia as a narrator even if she sometimes gets things wrong.

1 person found this helpful

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Wrong narrator.

I think the reader can either make or break an audiobook and this one almost ruined it for me. The story, though, is excellent and well worth listening to. The Americanisms and mispronunciation almost killed it. Kess-wick, I ask you!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sara Rüegg
  • 26-03-21

Very enjoyable

I thought the book was very interesting, captivating and I listened to it all the time.
Some of the storyline was maybe a bit too intense for me and thus I deducted 1 star.
As a computer scientist I also found it super interesting to learn more about early cryptanalysis.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Candy
  • 18-04-22

Loved it!

Loved everything. All of it. Right through to the epilogue! Excellent narration and a brilliant story.

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  • Annamie Louwrens
  • 14-12-21

Review

Very well written book. Excellent performance once again. Can not wait for new book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-06-21

Wartime novel

lived this story line, however, the flipping back and forth of the characters and times really confused me. I had to do a lot of rewinding in the audible.
enjoyed it , and found it factually interesting

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  • Mike Reed
  • 01-05-21

Loved this story

Well written and well told.
I’ve given 5 stars to everything, but just want to point out to Saskia... northern towns like Berwick, Creswick AND Keswick are pronounced with silent W. Pronouncing the W is the sort of mistake that rubs northerners the wrong way because it shows that you have no knowledge of our towns. A tiny bit more attention to detail would make the narration perfect :)

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  • Tara
  • 14-04-21

A jolly a good yarn

I really enjoyed this story, with all its twists and turns. It was rather surreal listening to it during the week one of its real life characters, Prince Philip passed away almost 80 years later. The photos/ film republished this week in remembrance helped me visualise the Prince and that time.