Cover Image: The Girl from Bletchley Park

The Girl from Bletchley Park

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Member Reviews

While trying to run her IT company, Julia discovers that her grandmother had worked at Bletchley Park during the war. As she struggles to keep her own life going, the antics of Pamela and her future husband Edwin keep her fascinated, especially as neither had ever mentioned anything of their wartime experience,

A very entertaining story about the work carried out at Bletchley Park, and the secrets those who were there had to keep for so long. Unfortunately, I found the modern day part of the story less appealing. Julia isn’t an easy character to get behind, as I wanted to shout at her to get some backbone at times! Her husband Marc is such a chauvinist and obviously up to no good you wonder how she managed to run a company at all.

Enjoyable for the historical details.
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4.5 stars
I’m a huge fan of dual timeline stories so this book instantly appealed to me. I was not disappointed as I found this a hugely enjoyable and compelling read.

The story is set in 1943 and the present day which I always love as it’s great fun trying to solve war time mysteries. I keep hoping I might find a war time diary one day like Julie in the book so it was fun to live precariously through Julie as she learns more about her grandmother Pamela’s war time work. I must admit I did enjoy the wartime story line a bit more than the present day one but I think that mainly down to my fascination with Bletchley Park. It was interesting to see how the two women’s stories seemed to mirror each other and how they gradually came together which I thought was very clever.

I thought the research in this book was fantastic and I loved learning more about the wartime work at Bletchley Park. The author really made the place come to life and I often felt like I was actually there experiencing everything alongside the characters which I always enjoy. It was also very interesting to get to know the characters more and they soon started feeling like old friends so the reader feels everything that happens to them as if they were experiencing everything themselves.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be recommending it to others. The story had a great pace to it and there was always something happening to keep my interest. I very much look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and to HQ stories for my copy of this book via netgalley.
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The Present

Julia is struggling to balance her home and work life so welcomes the distraction when her brother gives her some photographs of their grandmother, Pam, who it transpires worked at Bletchley Park during World War Two. Not knowing aything about her role, Julia begins to undertake some research, uncovering a tale of bravery that her grandmother kept hidden.

The Past

In 1942, Pam decides to defer her place at Oxford University to help with the war effort, joining a team of codebreakers in Bletchley Park. Finding herself the subject of the affection of two young men, she makes her choice, setting in motion a series of events that could change her life forever.

The Girl From Bletchley Park is another superb dual timeframe book from Kathleen McGurl. Kathleen seems to have the knack of choosing the perfect eras for these books and she has done it again here, the Buckinghamshire estate being the perfect setting for a book about mystery and betrayal. I visited Bletchley Park several years ago and would thoroughly recommend it as it really brings home how brave and intelligent women like Pam were.

The theme of betrayal runs through both timeframes, albeit betrayal in very different ways. I admired the strength of both women, Pam and Julia, and enjoyed reading a book with such strong female characters who were not afraid to take matters into their own hands when faced with an earth-shattering situation.

I always look forward to Kathleen McGurl’s books and am eagerly waiting to see which historical era she takes us to next.
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I enjoyed this book. I’ve read others by Kathleen McGurl and have enjoyed them all so I’m glad this one didn’t disappoint. 
I found it very easy to get into, I got embroiled with the characters (rooting for those who were likeable and inwardly cursing those who were not!)
The story of Bletchley Park is fascinating in real life and Kathleen has cleverly used this to create a good time slip novel which has some intrigue and mystery. For me personally I felt some elements and characters were slightly predictable, however this did not detract from my enjoyment.
Overall an enjoyable, easy to read book which moved at a good pace. I rated it 4 stars and would happily recommend  this book to others.
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Having been to Bletchley Park, it put this novel into perspective for me! Very good story and character development at a very secretive and critical moment in World War II history.
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Thank you NetGalley and to the publishers for approving me to read this. I’m really getting in to historical fiction, and love anything set in the war era and even better if it revolves around Bletchley park. This was a great a read and I highly recommend it. I’ve already raved about it to friends!
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The Girl from Bletchley Park by Kathleen McGurl is a time-slip novel is set in both the 1940s and the present. The story of Grandmother Pam, having just left school in 1942 gives up a hard won place at Oxford University to help the war effort as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park is paralleled with Gran-daughter Julia, mother of two, juggling a fulltime career in the computing world with raising two boys and managing a husband who is clearly hard work. This is an incredibly gripping tale of betrayal, bravery and tragedy while is inspiring to our generation of working mothers. 

Kathleen McGurks keeps the suspense going like a pro although the book holding the reader’s attention right to the last page. The events experienced by Julia’s Grandmother led her to look inward and question the choices she has made in her own life.

If you enjoy reading about strong women – this is a drama you must read. Once opened I couldn’t put it down.

Thanks to HQ Digital and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.
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I really enjoyed this book.  I loved the way the past and present were so cleverly intertwined.  The story is excellent and the characters very interesting.  I have visited Bletchley which made it a little more real for me, if you have not, you should do so.  The story of the unseen heroines of Bletchley has been emerging more and more in the past few years.  The societal norms of the time are brought out very well as are the present day characters.  A book to read.
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The Girl from Bletchley Park follows Julia through her present day life.  She has a successful IT business in her home, 2 children, husband and close business partner.  All is going well and until each area of her life begins to unravel.   It is during this time that her brother comes to visit and brings with him pictures of their grandmother.  Julia begins to look into her grandmother’s life and starts to reveal secrets that her grandmother has kept since the 1940s. 
It’s in the secrets that Kathleen McGurl tells the story in a duel timeline of Pamela, Julia’s grandmother and the work that she does to help with the war effort.  Pamela like Julia is faced with difficult decisions and is faced with life changing events. 
The Girl from Bletchley Park is an easy read with a few twist.  The historical information about Bletchley Park is fascinating.  I usually do not like stories that alternate between two time periods but this was well written and easy to make the transitions between the time periods. Thank you Kathleen McGurl and  Netgalley for an advance copy in return for an honest review.
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I love all of this author's books and this one did not disappoint.   Being set in two time frames of present day and 1940s worked well as did the two different narratives and I found it a compelling read.   Good characters and interesting storylines, although as usual I preferred the historical one, made it a book that I couldn't put down.
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Absolutely great book. I've read a few WW2 fiction stories recently and this one didn't disappoint me. 
Very well written storyline.
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This is a duel timeline story, one in 1942 and the other in present day. Julia runs her business from a home office along with her business partner and longtime friend.  She has two sons and a husband, Mark. He has always been quite scathing and jealous of her business and although he is happy to be spending her earnings feels she should be looking after him and the boys more. He is frankly a very unlikeable man and certainly not good husband material.
Things go wrong in Julia's business life and her husband is never around for her to talk too, so when her brother finds their grandmother's photos and letters she starts to research just what her grandmother did during the war. 
With help from memoirs her grandmother's best friend left behind for her family Julia discover that Pamela ,her grandmother worked at the famous Bletchley Park. Julie uses this to distract her from the many decisions she has to make about her business and her marriage.

It's 1942 and Pamela is looking forward to going to university to study mathematics which she excels at. 
She does feel she should be doing something towards the war effort, maybe something part time. 
As Pamela is leaving school her teacher calls her back and asks her if she would like to help the war in some way as they are looking for people good at maths. This leads to a job at Bletchley Park which Pamela loves. The war throws obstacles and challenges at Pamela and she finds danger and betrayal from those she should  trust the most. 

This was a brilliant read as are all books by Kathleen MCGurl. The main character in 1942 Pamela was so lovely and trusting but once her brain took over from her heart there was no stopping her. The same thing in present day with her granddaughter. Once she realised her own worth everything became clearer to her. I predict when you read this book you will not want to put it down.
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Any story telling of the achievements of Bletchley Park are fascinating and this didn't disappoint.  Told from two perspectives from the same family, eighty years apart:

Julia lives in the present day and owns a successful IT business, married with two young boys.  She spends all her time working in the home office and struggles with getting the work/life balance right.   Arguments with her husband, Mark are the norm these days and she can feel him drifting further away from her but doesn't know how to put it right.    Known as the family historian, when her brother decides to sell their grandmothers cottage, he finds a box with old photos and box camera which he passes to Julia for safe keeping.    

The photos show her grandmother, Pamela as a young girl with the man that she was to later marry and lifelong friend Clarissa.   When Julia gets the film from the box camera developed, it shows other people and places that she didn't recognise.   This set her on the path of finding out what her grandmother did during the war.

 Pamela's story is told by way of Clarissa's memoirs.  Pamela, a young girl living during the war but with her heart set on going to university to study maths.   She is surprised and flattered when her name is put forward for a secret role to help with the war effort.   After a successful secret interview, she is soon enrolled as a Wren and living in a country mansion working at Bletchley Park.   She makes friends with Clarissa, Norah, Frank and Edwin and love soon blossoms between her and Frank.      

All is not as it first seems, either in the past or present and soon Julia learns the truth of both eras.   Her life changes drastically as a result and she finally finds that happy balance in life.

A really good interesting read
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I am always fascinated about stories to do with Bletchley Park, whether fact or fiction, so this choice of book was a must for me.

1942 – Pamela has the chance to go to university and study maths. But she has the opportunity to do something for the war effort and it seems rather unrealistically her skills are in need. Deferring university she finds herself, in the uniform of a Wren and at Bletchley Park. Here she meets lifelong friends, Clarissa, Norah, Edwin and Frank. But whilst she is swept away in the work of the Park and the thought of potential love there is something not quite right about one of these people. Where exactly do their loyalties lie in a time of war?

Julia is Pamela’s granddaughter. Julia’s life seems idyllic, own software company, big house, two growing sons and a happy marriage. However it seems that all is not what it seems in the present day. Julia’s time is completely filled, but when with the help of her brother she find some photos of her grandmother in the place that was Bletchley Park, Julia becomes fascinated by a part of her grandmothers life she knew nothing about.

Whilst the secrets of Pamela’s life comes out through photos and reminiscences of a friend, it is the solace with which Julia finds her self seeking whilst her own life has imploded with it’s own worst kept secrets. As life changes beyond recognition for Julia, she finds herself in the position of thinking about secrets both past and potentially future.

This dual timeline novel was interesting, I liked the strength of both of the main female characters, but found the men to very weak. Perhaps that was the point? But I would have like a bit more of a mix. I could positively have shaken Julia’s husband. This is a great insight into the work of those at Bletchley Park and a good piece of historical fiction.
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What a difficult book to review! Having read other novels set in, or featuring, Bletchley Park I was looking forward to reading this novel. However, first impressions were not positive; the plot is based around the stories of two members of the same family, two generations and almost eighty years apart. So far, so good, but the narrative was somewhat spoiled by what seemed an unnecessarily excessive use of clichés. No spoilers here, so you’ll have to read the book to see if you agree. On the basis of what you’ve read so far I guess you’re probably expecting just two or three stars - and yet, and yet….
Strangely, the somewhat simple and old-fashioned elements of both the story and the writing combine in some strange way to make this an easy and enjoyable read. I doubt if many readers will be surprised at the turn of events revealed in the evolving plot, but there is something in the book that passes a pleasant few hours.
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This was a light, fairly undemanding book, but just what I needed after a rather heavy previous read.  It was set during the second world war, one of my favourite periods, although was not quite as gripping or interesting as Kate Quinn's 'Rose Code'  or Jules Wake's 'The Secrets of Latimer House', both from this year and in a similar vein.  The narrative alternated between Julia, an IT businesswoman in the present day who has troubles of a personal, family and work nature, with her grandmother, Pam, who helps the war effort as a coder in Bletchley Park.  Both time periods worked in their own right, but allowed some suspense because of the change of period at key moments.  However neither story was as exciting or compelling as I had expected, and the book was rather lacklustre in the light of recent similar novels of the period.  A light and easy quick-read which kept me entertained, if not engrossed.
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Two interlinked stories set almost 80 years apart, although I much preferred the wartime one. There are parallels between the two, as each woman has to deal with people close to her that she feels she can no longer trust. Lots of interesting history, especially about the code breaking machines.
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My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for this wonderful story.

Julia finds a camera with old film in it that was her grandmother s, an employee of Bletchley Park.  This book alternates between the stories of the 2 women from the past and present.   I loved this.  Easy read,quick,good flow, and well written.   Highly recommend.
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After having read The Rose Code, I have become quite fascinated with the code breakers from Bletchley Park. 
The Girl from Bletchley Park is a dual timeline story about two intelligent women, one is current day and then about her grandmother. (Pamela and Julia). The dual timelines work well well for this novel. 

I enjoyed that both were dealing with a similar issue of having a partner that they found untrustworthy while living in very different times. I found this story to drag a great deal though and I lost my focus and attention on many occasions. Perhaps my expectations were set too high and I was hoping for more behind-the-scenes codebreaker details. There was a lot of focus on the love story aspect.

I've never read this author before and I think perhaps this title was just not a good fit for me.
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Historical fiction is definitely my favourite genre and this did not disappoint at all.
 Kathleen McGurl has created an exceptional tale.
It is set in dual times  of 1942 and the present day. This worked perfectly and wasn't at all confusing.  I couldn't put it down and devoured it in a very short time. Thanks to #NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review
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