Cover Image: The Girl from Bletchley Park

The Girl from Bletchley Park

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Member Reviews

I was excited to receive an eARC of The Girl from Bletchley Park, as I enjoy reading about women in WW2 and BP code breakers.  Unfortunately, the dual timeline of this story did not work for me, and it impacted my overall enjoyment of the novel.  Thank you Netgalley and HQ Digital for a copy to review.
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This just seemed slow and ultimately lacking in direction. I was left feeling it was all a bit aimless. So much had been left out and it could have been so much more. A shame because I find Bletchley Park endlessly fascinating.
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A dual timeline drama set in WW2 and the present day. Whilst I like stories about Bletchley Park, both main characters did not interest me and the narrative lacked a spark. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc.
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A wonderful read and I always enjoy a good timeslip narrative between the past and the present. Great characters and plot. Another really good read from the author.
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McGurl's novel takes us across two generations, modern-day Julia who has her own IT company, but is struggling with work and family duties, plus a husband who is less than supportive, and her grandmother Pam who joined the Wrens during WWII and became part of the code-breakers in super secret Bletchley park. Learning about her grandmother's story helps to distract Julia from her present problems, but what will she find out that Pam was so eager to keep hidden?
I enjoy historical fiction in general, and *really* enjoy stories set in WWII; bonus points if it is about codes etc, and with a female protagonist. So far, so good here! However, this just didn't hit the mark for me. 
I was really interested in reading about Pam and the Bletchley code-breaking but the story is revolved more around her relationships while at Bletchley than actually detailing her job etc. While this element did have some drama too, of course, it wasn't what I was expecting when I picked up the book .
Julia's story - I really liked that she was the breadwinner, the woman working in IT with her own business, but it felt like the overall story for her fell into stereotypical territory while simultaneously huge things happened very quicky in her story , but as we were only getting snippits they seemed to be happening *too* quickly.I did like how they connected the two stories narratively!
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Thank you to NetGalley, HQ Digital, & HarperCollins UK for the opportunity to read and review this book before it's publication date! This in no way affected my review, opinions are my own.

B̷R̷I̷N̷G̷ B̷O̷R̷R̷O̷W̷ ✨ 𝗕𝗬𝗣𝗔𝗦𝗦 ✨

Didn't have a lot of love for this one unfortunately - either the present or past timelines. A lot of it strained credulity a bit too much to keep me invested and the main MCs from both timelines were not interesting enough to root for, honestly.

I've read almost all of Kathleen McGurl's books and would recommend The Forgotten Secret and The Secret of the Chateau, but I would not recommend this.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

I love books about Bletchley Park...but this one not so much. 

The historical parts with Pamela were ok but the modern parts with Julia and her family were absolutely horrible.  What a doormat she was!
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I love this author and she doesn’t disappoint this time. The story is told of two generations of women and how life can throw a wrench in when everything in your life is great. Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
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I really enjoyed this book- almost split into two stories during different timelines of Julia and her grandmother Pam.  I’ve always enjoyed fiction based in the WW2 era and this didn’t disappoint.  Thank you for the ARC, 3.5 stars.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

This was such a enjoyable read. There are so many books about World War II, it’s hard to find a different storyline. I always find stories based around Bletchley park fascinating. This is a dual timeline story based in more time and present day.

 In this book we follow the story of Pamela, in the past, as she gets a job at Bletchley park, and falls in love, but there’s much heartbreak in her story. In the present, we follow the story of Julia who is Pamela’s granddaughter. Julia’s brother finds an old camera that belonged to their grandmother and when the film is developed they find pictures of their grandmother at Bletchley park. As Julia uncovers the story of her grandmother, she faces her whole world falling down around her, but just like her grandmother before her, she finds her inner strength and discovers she’s stronger than she think she is.

Great read; I always look forward to this author’s books.
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A story that had huge potential and sadly failed to live up to it. Two main characters who were woefully naive and couldn’t see the signs in front of them.

Good storyline of what went on at Bletchley Park and some amusing moments, but lacking in depth with flat characters and obvious storylines for both of the timelines.

A bit disappointing, 3* at best
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I had recently read The Rose Code so I was intrigued by another historical fiction novel having to do with Bletchly Park. This story is told in dual timeline, with Pamela working at Bletchly Park in the 1940's and the present day storyline is told from the point of view of her granddaughter, Julia. I liked the storyline told from Pamela's point of view, but honestly found myself getting annoyed with the present day storyline. There was a lot happening, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it focused primarily on discovering her grandmother's life at Bletchly Park. I felt that both storylines took a little long to build up then wrapped up a little too quickly and ****SEMI SPOILER*** everything seemed to end a little too neatly for the circumstances. Overall, it was ok, but not a favorite. I would be interested in trying another novel from the same author though.

Thank you @NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishing for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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A very enjoyable read and for once the dual timeline enhanced the story. I will look out for more from this author.
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Fascinating story which gripped me from start to finish. The parallel storylines are distinct and easy to follow. The characters with obvious exception are likeable and personable. A really enjoyable book with a captivating aspect centred around activities at Bletchley Park in WW2. I found this book fascinating and enjoyed every minute. 

Thank you Netgalley
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The Girl from Bletchley Park by Kathleen McGurl

Julia runs her  own business, her home and life with no help from her chauvinistic husband or her sons. Her brother comes to visit bringing with him a box from his home that belonged to their grandmother and thought she would find it interesting. On working her way through the box she finds an older box brownie camera with undeveloped film in it which Julie then gets developed. The pictures show her grandmother on the steps of Bletchley Park with a group of people in forties dress and then the mystery begins as she investigated the box for more about her grandmother’s past as a mathematical genius. 

 I enjoyed the dual timelines following Pamela’s timeline in the past and Julie’s present day. 

A well written story. Fast read and kept you engrossed though Julie’s life  Although it was very predictable as was her outcome.

However I did prefer Pamela’s story more but was a tad disappointed in that there could have been more regarding what she actually did but the twist there was good. 

Overall a good read though I did want to shout at Julie about getting with the big picture regarding her life sooner than she did. 3.5/5
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My fascination with WW2 and the roles women played continues! This is dual time line story. There is Julia in 2019. She is a wife, mother, and business owner. Then there is her grandmother, Pamela, in 1943. Pamela recently finished school and was headed for Oxford when she decided to defer to help in war efforts at Bletchley Park.

This was a quick read but I was reading in anger due to how naive both women are. Julia was supposed to be an incredibly smart software developer and had 2 men deceiving her from the start. She let her husband treat her terribly and didn’t call him on his bullshit for fear of hurting his feelings. Ugh. I liked her relationship with her sons and her desire to learn more about her grandmother.
I would have loved to read more about Pamela’s time and role at Bletchley Park. While there was some talk of her work, more time was spent on a weird love story and finding a man.
I enjoyed this only due to learning about Bletchley Park, 
Thanks to Netgalley for an early copy of this book.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this story, skipping from Julia in the present, to her grand mother in the past working at Bletchley Park. It gave a great insight into what it must have been like during the war, and the work that was done at Bletchley Park. Thank you netgalley for the advanced copy of this great story.
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“The Girl from Bletchley Park”
By Kathleen McGurl  

Secrets, Spies & Lies

Smart women shine in Kathleen McGurl’s dual timeline family tale of secrets decoded and lies exposed, “The Girl from Bletchley Park.”

All was not as it appeared in the life of 1940s recent high school graduate mathematics whiz kid, Pamela, when she accepted her first job working as a top secret code-breaker for British Intelligence.

She had to lie and tell everyone that she was a secretary because of secrecy.  However, that was what most people would expect from a young woman in the ‘40s since it was “presumed that women could not manage work of any importance.”  Under oath by the Official Secrets Act, even family and friends were forbidden to know the specific nature of her job.  

Pam’s life and heart were soon in peril when she began to question the integrity of the man she loved and thought she would marry.  Could he be a traitor?  A spy?  Had she broken her oath by saying something to him that she shouldn't have?

Years later, her granddaughter, Julia, also a computer specialist, has no idea about her grandmother’s highly classified work during WWII.  Although the two were close during her grandmother's lifetime, Pamela, never discussed her clandestine position—even after the 50-years rule allowing her to speak more freely.

Only by chance, while clearing out some old family possessions, did some photos turned-up showing Grandmother Pam at Bletchley Park the British Intelligence WWII Code-Breaking Center.  From there begins Julie’s family sleuthing expedition to learn all that they can of the family matriarch’s work as as intelligence officer.

Although completely fascinated by the intriguing notion of her grandmother’s wartime activities, Julie's small IT company is extraordinarily busy; her clients need their proposals yesterday; her business partner isn't taking care of the finances properly; she's working tons of hours; her husband is acting suspiciously; and kids feel neglected.  Life is pretty crazy, even for a smart and organized woman like her.

Between trying to balance stresses from work and home, Julie craves the brief respites of quiet time when she can manage to digest the fascinating snippets of information that she receives periodically about her grandmother from a distant cousin’s family records—which are pretty intriguing!

Pamela’s fictional contributions to the war effort in “The Girl from Bletchley Park,” along with those of her friends and colleagues, paint an extraordinary picture of many true geniuses—unsung heroes behind the scenes—that helped shorten the duration of World War II and saved countless lives in the process.  This aspect of the novel I found fascinating and truly inspiring.  

However, the modern-day aspects of this dual timeline story are just a big ‘ol mess of headaches for character Julie.  Of course, her being a supermom and her grandmother's genetic descendant, everything resolves itself pretty quickly.  That being said, I will admit that this storyline does provide some positive and useful information for women going through similar situations.


The Book Maven’s Journal—Reviews for Word Connoisseurs

  STAR RATING            ⭐️⭐️⭐️

“The Girl from Bletchley Park”
Author:  Kathleen McGurl
Genre:     |  Historical Fiction (Adult)  |  Women's Fiction  |  General Fiction 
Publication Date:  02 November 2021                           
Publisher:  HQ An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd.

With Sincerest Appreciation to NetGalley, Author Kathleen McGurl and HQ, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd., for Providing this Advance Reader’s Copy for Review.
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What a lovely story and this has made me want to visit Bletchley Park! The past and present storylines that were connected was done very clevery. Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
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Quite a good historical fiction, the book itself was a little bit shorter than I would have liked but the characters were well written, the only real issue I had was the dual timelines which were interesting but I find I get settled in just one timeline and then start to slip when I have to go back and forth. I liked that Pamela's story was told through her journals and letters this made it more factual for me and shows how much the author has researched, which couldn't have been easy considering how hush hush Bletchley Park is, I do find it fascinating and preferred Pam's story far more than Julia's which I thought was a little dull esp her gambling addict business partner, I didn't feel that really added anything to the story for me. Pam's story line was definitely my favourite line was pretty gritty and interesting though, 

Many thanks to netgalley for this arc in return for my review.
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