The Rose Code by Kate Quinn book review

I bloody love historical fiction and so when we went to Bletchley Park at the start of June – the site where Alan Turing and many other important folk helped reduce World War 2 by years by solving the Enigma Code – I knew I wanted to pick up a book based on those events. A quick scour in the gift shop and a peak on Goodreads led me to The Rose Code by Kate Quinn.

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The Rose Code is the story of three Wrens (the names given to the women who helped decipher the codes at Bletchley Park) and their experiences as Wrens, outiside Bletchley Park and after the whole ordeal. I’d seen some very positive things about it before and even my partner’s mum had read it and said it was brilliant, so I went into it with optimism!

The Rose Code plot – 4.25/5

The plot to The Rose Code wasn’t by any means dull and at no point did I find myself remotely bored. However, it was fairly tame. Yes, there is a larger overarching story and there are some really emotional moments that will have you really engrossed in the book. However, the thing that won me over about The Rose Code was in fact the brilliant characters. But before that, there’s more to discuss.

This is my first Kate Quinn novel, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Some historical fiction novels are very formal and can sometimes be quite a bore to read unless the plot is thrilling. However, Quinn has quickly shot into the list of authors I’d very much like to read another book from. Her writing was witty, it was fast-paced and it didn’t attempt to be fancy. There’s no over-exerted prose or boastful colourful language here that’ll get your head in a twist, just pure, to-the-point story.

The Rose Code characters – 4.5/5

I mentioned that the characters in The Rose Code are the best thing about the book and I can tell you I knew this from a very early stage. After about five or so chapters, I knew this was going to be a book I was going to enjoy because I was already enjoying the dynamic between the characters involved and when you set that foundation, the plot doesn’t even have to try that hard.

The three Wrens we follow throughout the novel all have very different personalities and thus different influences on the story. There’s the shy one, the bolshy one and the brainy one. As I said, because of their different personality types, their experiences during the war are all very different and being so very clearly defined makes it easy to fall into step whenever we switch between their stories.

The Rose Code final rating – 4.25/5

The Rose Code is a great historical fiction novel by Kate Quinn. Her combination of engaging writing, enjoyable and colourful characters and an engaging enough story made this a real joy to read! I knew from a very early stage that I was really going to enjoy the book as the characters drew me to their strong personalities. It then continued to build on itself with some great personal moments, heart-wrenching shocks and an intriguing overarching story! Kate Quinn is most certainly an author I will be checking out more from!”

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