Cover Image: The Girl from Bletchley Park

The Girl from Bletchley Park

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Member Reviews

This is an enjoyable dual timeline story. The present day and Bletchley Park, 1942 stories are carefully interwoven to make a fascinating, gripping tale. Kathleen McGurl is becoming a firm favourite author of mine and I look forward to the next.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity of reading this.
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This is a dual-timeframe novel in which two women are seriously let down by men in their lives. In 2019, Julia is setting up a new company with her business partner, Ian, who she trusts with the company finances. She also has problems in her marriage. Julia finds an old box brownie camera with film left inside, which she get developed. They feature her grandmother, Pamela, and her colleagues at Bletchley Park, who worked on an early computer system there. She had never spoken about this, having been sworn to secrecy during the war years. Pam makes many friends there and has a choice of men interested in 'walking out' with her: handsome Frank Miller, a young gardener working at Woburn Abbey, where she is billeted and Edwin Denham, a fellow Bletchley recruit. She makes the wrong choice. Interesting from the Bletchley perspective, but a shame there wasn't more about how she used her talents with languages. Look forward to reading more from Kathleen McGurl.
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The girl from Bletchley park by Kathleen McGurl
Pamela in 1943 a bright student is handpicked to work at the top secret Bletchley park. This story has a duel timeline. Julia is Pamela  great _ granddaughter.  I was invested in both stories . Enjoyed this book and would read Kathleen's books again good story teller.
Thank you Netgalley for letting me review this book
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The Girl from Bletchley Park is told in dual timelines with current day Julia and her grandmother, Pam, during WWII time.   Bletchley Park is one of those places that I'm so glad is preserved for today's visitors.  Hearing about the work that happened there is amazing and to be able to read the history of what was accomplished is fascinating.

Although an enjoyable story, I found Julia's side to be a bit long.  Her marital problems, home office problems, and 2 teenage sons made her sound like she was falling apart.  Luckily, her brother found an old camera case with photos in it and gave her a distraction to begin investigating her grandmother's life.

This time period is my favorite of the historical fiction genre, so I enjoyed Pam's timeline better than the current day timeline.  A fast read with a bit of love, betrayal, and self discovery for both women.  Overall, not a bad novel.
Thanks to #netgalley and #HQDigital for this advanced copy.  Publication is set for November 3, 2021.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.   I really enjoyed the storyline, characters and the whole book in general.   I would recommend this to other readers
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A captivating dual timeline story, which I found easy to read and could barely put down.    We have Pamela going off to do her duty by working at Bletchley Park where she meets two young men who find her attractive. One of them has  other reasons for wanting to make her acquaintance!  The other is genuinely fond of her.
The other timeline is about Julia, the granddaughter of Pamela.  Julia and her brother Bob uncover some old family photos leading them to believe that their gran may have worked at Bletchley, a fact never mentioned in the family so Julia determines to find out more.  This is while she is having marital/work issues of her own.
I especially liked that both timelines were equally as exciting, normally when reading this type of book one favours more.
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While cleaning out her grandmothers home julia discovers old photographs  and portions of what looks to be a manuscript. Julia discovers there was more to her grandmother than she would ever have imagined. Her grandmother along  with her best friend(and eventual sister in law) worked as decoders in England during the Second World War . The characters were real and authentic  and the situations relevant. Although I thought some of this was predictable it was an enjoyable read.
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“Could you love someone without trusting them?“

Each protagonist in this dual timeline asks herself the same question. The two narratives mirror each woman’s frustration with a partner whom they can’t trust. One has a husband she can’t trust to pull his weight in the family home nor can she trust him with finances. The other has a boyfriend with ties to the Nazi party. Successful careers for both depend on them trusting their partners. Readers have a front-row seat to see how each deals with the issue at hand. 

“But there was no amount of computer code that could get them out of this problem.”

While I love Kathleen McGurl’s work, I was disappointed with this one mainly because of my own expectations. Please keep this in mind – MY expectations. I was hoping to read about the details of life in Bletchley Park but instead read about the lives of those who worked there. Being a STEM teacher, I was hoping to read more about math and code-breaking and the strong women who aided Britain in bringing a swift end to the war. Disappointment aside, I was intrigued to read about the Colossus story because it often takes a backseat to Alan Turning’s fame in breaking the Enigma code. I commend the author for bringing to light a lesser-known but equally important part of history  - those involved with breaking the Tunny code. I loved the sections with Pam and Edwin setting up and running the Colossus and wanted more detail. In fact, I felt this narrative was stronger and more interesting and could have held its own. The author did a superb job in making sure her readers knew the angst these codebreakers experienced in not sharing details of the work they did at Bletchley Park. They were instrumental in bringing a swift end to the war, but no one could know about their role in the success. Thanks to this book, visiting the birthplace of modern computing and learning more about the top-secret home of the World War Two code breakers is on my bucket list. 

I would have loved to have seen a tauter narrative as I found myself grazing for facts that were relevant to the plot. I also would have loved to have seen stronger protagonists as I found it difficult to believe that smart women would have been so naïve. 

While packing up to move this year, the author discovered two Box Brownie cameras in her mother’s possessions. Her writer-brain questioned what if the cameras had contained film and what if the developed photos raised questions about her family history. Running with this idea, she paired it with her desire to write about Bletchley Park and planned on focusing on Travis and Tommy Flowers who designed the Colossus computer. I love hearing how ideas for books come about! Congratulations to the graphic designer for such a fantastic cover! 

McGurl has two more historical fiction books in the works for 2022; one set in Chamonix and one set in Dublin. 

Publishes November 3, 2021. 

I was gifted this advance copy by Kathleen McGurl, HQ Digital, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
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The Girl from Bletchley Park by Kathleen MKcGurl is a dual time lime story. Julia's marriage and her business are falling apart. As she deal with the crises all that involves, she receives some things that belonged to her grandmother, Pam. Among them was an old Brownie camera with film still in it. When she has it developed she sees photos of her grandmother with two different men in front of an imposing building. As she digs deeper, she learns her grandmother was one of the codebreakers who worked in Bletchley Park during WWII. Julia had no idea. 

Pam's story is the second one in the book and to me was more interesting than Julia's. The secrecy, spies, heartbreak, the history all make for a compelling story.
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Just a beautiful read.
having visited the museum at Bletchley and read some of the stories of those who worked their and kept their secrets the story of Pam was incredibly evocative and transported me straight back into those huts and to the grounds surrounding the big house as well as being able to clearly picture some of the machines described in the novel that are on display in the museum..
Told across two time frames, the story touches on Julia now and Pam, her Grandmother, then and works beautifully as a vehicle to reveal some of what wartime Bletchley represented through the eyes of a modern woman.
If you have never been then be warned that this book will inspire you to make the trip to Bletchley!
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I read this book in 2 evenings. It's a page-turning read, and twice there were scenes where I found myself unexpectedly with a tear in my eye. I did have issues with both heroines as they seemed a little too unaware of what was quite obvious to the reader, and that was a bit frustrating. But it was indeed a gentle, entertaining read set during my favorite time period. If you read widely in this subgenre and read books with a similar tone and style, you'll certainly enjoy this one.
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Historical fiction with a bit of mystery, romance and intrigue. A story that is filled with lies and betrayals, both in the past and the present.

Bletchley Park was the secret code breaking headquarters in England during WWII and the work that was done there has been said to have shortened the war by several years. I was drawn to this title because I have been interested in Bletchley Park since I first saw the film, "The Imitation Game" in 2014, based on the biography of Alan Turing. This book however was less about the work that went on at Bletchley Park and more about the lives of some of the people who worked in and around this historical location. But, I was not disappointed.

Written in dual timelines, it is the story of Pamela, in 1943, who accepts a job at the mysterious Bletchley Park along with numerous other women who are handpicked for their intellect, skill at math and languages, and their eagerness to contribute to the war effort. She finds new challenges, as well as friendships and love. In 2019, Julia, Pamela's granddaughter who runs her own IT business with a friend, learns about her grandmother's long held secrets and life at Bletchley Park. At the same time, Julia is struggling with her own challenges at home and at work.

I normally prefer stories that are written in a linear format. When books are written in dual timelines I usually end up liking one storyline better than the other, and this book was no different. However, I became more invested in both storylines as the book progressed. I can honestly say that I am now a new fan of this author, Kathleen McGurl. I will certainly be reading some of her earlier books, and if they are anything like this one than I can look forward to a lot of good reading.

Many thanks to HQ Digital and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.  #TheGirlfromBletchleyPark  #NetGalley
Publication date: November 3, 2021
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This is not the first book I have read by Kathleen McGurl and just like her previous novels this new offering is a great read. 
It is a dual time line which features the modern day Julia and her grandmother Pamela during WWII.  Both women share similar intrigues with their menfolk and demanding jobs.  The outcome is positive for both of them and provides a satisfactory (if somewhat  obvious) ending. 
A good read to get lost in with added period details about Bletchley Park.
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"The Girl from Bletchley Park" is a dual timeline novel so only half of it is actually set at BP.  The leading women in both stories are so absorbed in their work that they don't take enough attention of what is happening in the outside world.  Both of them are let down by men because they fail to read the signs - which were pretty obvious to me.  OK but not great.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.
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Pam is an extremely bright young woman, with a place at Oxford to study mathematics, who defers her university place to do top secret work at Bletchley Park in World War 2.

Julia is Pam's grand-daughter. She is a successful businesswoman, a wife and mother of two boys.

We see Pam leave home and start work at Bletchley Park where she has two admirers, Edwin who works with her on the Colossus project and Frank, the gardener at Woburn Abbey where the women are billeted.

In the present day, Julia is struggling with having it all, running a business from an office at the bottom of her garden, doing the work, running a house and supporting her husband and sons. Her brother decides to sell the family house in Devon which he inherited and brings a lot of family documents and photos to Julia because he knows she likes that sort of thing. When Julia has an old roll of film developed she finds photographs of her grandmother and her grandmother's friends at Bletchley Park. The family never knew that Pam had worked there during the war and Julia is intrigued to find out more.

Told in alternating time periods, this was pleasant enough, if hugely predictable and not very original. Frankly, Pam might just as well have been a typist (as she told friends and family when they asked about her job), because there was so little depth about how she allegedly used her maths and languages skills.

I would probably have given the book three and a half stars, but the end made me so angry that I deducted half a star. (view spoiler)

I think the book suffered by being told from two time frames, neither was in depth, and therefore it felt a bit superficial.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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A dual time line story, we have Julia in 2019, who is a soft wear developer, a wife and mother with her own business. Pamela, her grandmother, is in 1943. She is a mathematician with a place at Oxford but goes to work in Bletchley for the war years.

This dragged for me from the start. Both women were very naïve. Julia, a successful, intelligent woman couldn't see what was staring her in the face. Pamela was a bit one dimensional. I never really got immersed in her story. The love story wasn't very interesting. None of the characters were fleshed out enough. We didn't get to know enough about them to care about them.
I would have liked a lot more about Bletchley as I find it a fascinating piece of history and it's one of the main reasons I was drawn to the book. Instead we get too much about Julia's job, way more than we needed.

Having thoroughly enjoyed this author's last book I was expecting great things. Unfortunately it missed the mark for me.

Thanks to HQ Digital and Netgalley for an early copy of this book.
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This book drew me in from the word go.  I was on the edge of my seat through the entire book.  These strong women were thrivers and a great example to other women.  When an empowering story.
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With grateful thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest opinion. 
Firstly can I just say  I've read many books from this author  kath McGurl  and they are outstanding, but in my opinion  she has really excelled this time with The Girl from Bletchley  Park.
A twin timeline  that worked absolutely  perfectly  and seamlessly  between  the two era's.
We're on a journey  back in time to when  Pam was a young girl doing her duty at Bletchley  Park  and her comrades who form a wonderful  bond together, in today's time her granddaughter  Julie is facing  up to live and all that it throws at us at times.
An outstandingly poignant tale  unfolds  the attention to detail  is absolutely  amazing   there are twists and turns  you really won't see coming  I can't  praise  this book enough and highly recommend  reading when it comes out.
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Julia has a successful career, but her husband grows more bitter each day that he has not achieved the same level of success. leaving Julia to struggle with her job, her children and her childish husband. The Julia comes into possession of photographs of her grandmother as a young woman at Bletchley Park. Pam never spoke about her time there, and curious to know why, Julia decides to dig into the past to find the answers. In 1942, Pam turned down a place at University to work as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, surely one of the most important roles in helping the Allies win the war. It’s here that Pam will meet the two men that will change her life forever, and the reason she will keep her time as a codebreaker a secret. McGurl writes the most incredible historical fiction, I always walk away from her books feeling like she was actually there, living among her oh so real characters back in the mists of time
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