The Secrets of Latimer House
by Jules Wake
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 30 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2021
HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, One More Chapter
In the war against Hitler every secret counts…‘Shines a light on a part of the British war effort I’d previously not been aware of…a fascinating, informative and heartwarming novel, and I loved it’ The New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller Jill Mansell
Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards is a skilled interrogator – her beauty making her a non-threat in the eyes of the prisoners.
Farm girl Betty Connors may not be able to type as she claimed, but her crack analytical skills soon find her unearthing covert connections.
German ex-pat Judith Stern never expected to find herself listening in to German POW’s whispered conversations, but the Nazis took her father from her so she will do whatever it takes to help the Allies end this war.
Billeted together in the attic of Latimer House – a place where secrets abound – Evelyn, Betty and Judith soon form a bond of friendship that carries them through the war. Because nothing is stronger than women united.
Tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House, a grand country estate, stands proudly – a witness to some of greatest secrets of WW2.
Used by the SOE to hold Nazi prisoners of war, this stunning historical novel is inspired by the untold story of the secret listeners of ‘M Room’ who worked day and night to help the Allies win the war. A must-read for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Fiona Valpy and Kate Quinn.Readers love The Secrets of Latimer House:
‘Freaking fabulous! Five perfect stars for this perfect book!
…The writing was wowza. So beautifully done. It flowed amazingly and honestly I couldn't tear my eyes from my Kindle’ Rubie
‘A truly fabulous read, full of drama intrigue and three fabulous characters’ Jeanie
‘I really enjoy this type of book which brings strong women together in exceptional circumstances, and this one did not disappoint’ Angela
‘This five-star read is the first historical fiction novel for Jules Wake and I think you’ll agree with me it’s a real treat for lovers of this genre!!!’ Norma
‘An excellent WWII-era historical fiction novel that is gripping, suspenseful, and engaging. I really enjoyed it!’ Rachel
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 143 members
The Secrets of Larimer House by Jules Wake I really enjoy this type of book that bring strong women together in exceptional circumstances , and this one did not disappoint. Set during WW2 , and what was a secret location in Buckinghamshire, 3 very different women are brought together to work at Latimer House . You soon grow to love the main characters Evelyn , Betty and Judith and the life they lead , whilst working and having to secretly help the war effort . True friendships are formed and the author shares with you the highs and lows of the journey these 3 women share. A great read that gives you an insight from a female perspective of the undercover world that helped to win the war.
This five-star read is the first historical fiction novel for Jules Wake and I think you’ll agree with me it’s a real treat for lovers of this genre!!! Set in WW2, this novel is based on true events which took place in a local manor house tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside close to the author’s home. Latimer House was a witness to some of the greatest secrets of WW2. This top-secret site was where high-ranking POW were interrogated by MI5 and MI6. Thousands of German prisoners, including Hitler’s Generals, passed through between 1942-1945. What they didn’t know was that their cells were bugged and everything they said between themselves was listened to by German speakers. Conversations of over 10,000 POWs, now in the archives, revealed information about weapons, strategy and future plans. Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards, farm girl Betty Connors, and German ex-pat Judith Stern, three very different women, were billeted together in the attic of Latimer House and developed a tight friendship which carried them through the war. It was fascinating to read about women who were given jobs that hadn’t previously been open to them and at this site, they were promoted for their ability and ended up having lots of responsibility. One of the three is a skilled interrogator, another has fantastic analytical skills she uses to unearth covert connections and one listens in on the whispered conversations. They each have a past that has pushed them to be willing to do whatever it takes to help the Allies win the war. When they experienced personal loss and tragedy, these girls were able to rely on each other for survival – The Three Musketeers. Doing the work they were trained for becomes second nature until the day that one of them is faced with a divided loyalty. Expertly researched and passionately penned, this book is an easy read - like having a conversation with a good friend. It’s filled with lots of British expressions and sprinkled with exchanges that’ll bring a smile. You’ll have to read to find out what the girls called “passion killers!” “Friendship improves happiness and abates grief by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” - Marcus Tullius Cicero Inspired by the women who carried out covert operations at Latimer House, which housed German prisoners during the Second World War, this book needs to be on your radar come August 30, 2021. I was gifted this advance copy by Jules Wake, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
Thank You NetGalley, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and Author for this ebook copy. The Secrets of Latimer House by Wake was freaking fabulous. Five perfect stars for this perfect book! I enjoyed the heck outta this book. The characters Evelyn, Betty and Judith are truly remarkable ladies. I loved their story and journey. Their friendship is beautiful and charming. So the writing was wowza. So beautifully done. It flowed amazingly and honestly I couldn't tear my eyes from my Kindle. Thank you again for the opportunity to read and review this outstanding novel.
1943 WW2 Falmouth on the cornish coast we meet Evelyn Brooke-Edward a female naval intelligence officer dealing with the POWs prisoners of war. Hull barracks we meet german Judith Stern a ATS auxiliary territorial service officer. London we meet Betty Connors also an ATS officer. Chalfont and Latimers grand house in the little village of Chalfont outside London, Judith Evelyn and Betty are all together in one room, getting payed for staying in the beautiful house and signing a official secrets acts even the locals don't know what is going on behind closed doors. This book is a breath of fresh air to read, as the girls lives working hard and struggling to get this war won. I was hooked into this story right through. The author writes to get the readers involved like you are sharing every chapter with the characters. I loved it and was sad to read The End.
I love stories like this as you see what effect war has on everyone from those fighting for freedom to those at home missing and worrying about their loved ones and then there are the people doing their bit for at home . Despite horrendous times their resilience is admirable. I do hope that the author will go back and revisit these characters again.
Set in Buckinghamshire during WWII, this fabulously intriguing book is based on a true location, Latimer House, where interrogations were held. The author writes beautifully of sorrow and love, the realities of war, human resilience and hope even under the darkest of circumstances. Each time I read a novel depicting this era (and I read every one I can get my hands on) my hope is for something different and this one has that special je ne sais quoi which elevates it. It has soul. Evelyn, Betty and Judith are young women who are billeted together in Latimer House. Though their histories, abilities and personalities are very dissimilar, they are all eager to serve during the war. I love how the author describes and weaves their background stories with the present, absolutely seamless. She also writes about the effects war has on each and on others. Their duties are incredibly interesting, too, as they find their niche. Not only that but there is romance, love and friendship. Historical Fiction and Women's Fiction readers ought to add this to the top of of their to be read lists. It is well worth your time. Thoroughly enjoyable. My sincere thank you to HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this wondrous book.
I have read one Jules Wake book before (Christmas in Covent Garden) and on checking I found that I gave it a good review so thought I would request this title. The Secrets of Latimer House is a great story and is certainly worthy of a five star review. . It is set in my favourite reading period - WW2 - and involves strong women doing interesting and important work. I hadn't heard about Latimer House before and loved this tale based around the covert work being undertaken there. Betty, Judith and Evelyn are three very different women and make for an excellent cast of main characters with their different backgrounds, histories and hopes. I loved it. With thanks to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for the opportunity to read and review an e-ARC of this title. It didn't say that it was an unproofed copy so I hope that the several pr00f-reading issues are sorted out before publication.
Wow! This is a fantastic story! Friendship, duty, loyalty, strength, guilt, sorrow, love and hope all woven together into a book that will have you cheering on this these three very different women as they struggle with life as it is in 1943-44, have pride in what they can contribute and have hope for a brighter future. It was a pleasure to read about Evelyn, Judith and Betty as they discover the strength within themselves during this time of war. They all stepped forward into roles that never would have been their futures without war. It was empowering and sometimes heartbreaking to read. The omnipresent of males trying to keep woman in their place, at the same time of desperately needing them in the work force while most men were off fighting. This book is a snapshot of the work done fighting the war with intelligence to gain knowledge of the enemy to hopefully end the war sooner. The work done in Latimer House was essential to the war effort and the people working there accepted the duty with expecting no thanks, since it was done in secret. The author wrote an amazing book. It was definitely a page-turner for me. I was anxious finish the book to see where the plot would end, and at the same time wanting to read slower to not leave the story and these wonderful characters that I got to know so well behind me. This is definitely a must read for any Historical Fiction or Women’s Fiction fans. Also, I will add that I love this amazing book cover! Release date August 30, 2021. I want to thank HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley for giving me the pleasure of reading the advance reader copy, with no obligation to write a review. My review is written freely as a hobby, and is totally my own opinion, not influenced by receiving the ARC.
I loved this book that is based upon a true story. It was intriguing, full of mystery and well written. It is crammed full of interesting characters and has obviously been very well researched, it was such an enjoyable read.
I received a free e-arc of this book through Netgalley. I read a lot of WWII historical fiction, but this book about three young women: Judith, Betty, and Evelyn working at a country house in the service of their country was really uplifting with their friendship and support for each other as well as their patrotism towards England. Each of the women has their own trials and problems, but with the help of each other and some others in the house, they are able to overcome the issues.
To Tomorrow Because Today is Done An amazing story of three brave young women in WWII. Not a pairing you would imagine. The socialite Evelyn, the farm girl Betty, and the Jewish expat Judith. Three of the strongest women sharing a room at Latimer house, a secret interrogation center for German Soldiers just outside London, England. Everything they do and even Latimer House itself is a secret not to be repeated to anyone. As far as the civilians know it is a distribution center. Each one of the three girls is determined to help win the war in any way they can. They all have their own problems and the three of them work together to solve these problems. They help each other in their work and in their lifetime struggles. All the girls have either lost someone in the war or someone is missing, thus their work with the German Prisoner's is extremely hard for them. Evelyn interrogates prisoners, Judith listens in on their conversations in their cells and Betty analyses the reports for similarities and importance before they go to the administrators. They share a room, they share their lives, their romances and their families with each other. They become the best of friends. Sometimes the job becomes too much and sometimes family becomes too much, but the girls are there for each other even when it is bad. Through tears, secrets and anxiety they support one another. One quotation from Cicero I really enjoyed reading . Judith printed it on postcards for the other girls From Cicero "Friendship approves happiness and abates grief by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief" I was surprised to read in the epilogue that Latimer House really did exist and it really was a top secret military establishment even though the characters and the story is fiction. My favorite character was Betty. She was so alive and peppy. She always seemed to light up a room in her special way. I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it. Thanks to Jules Wake, HarperCollins U.K, One More Chapter and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy for my honest review.
Based on true events during WWII, Larimer House was a well guarded secret with a mission to win the war. Readers will enjoy this story told through the viewpoints of Evelyn, Judith and Betty. I liked that the author chose three characters with such vast differences of backgrounds. I liked seeing the friendship and support for each other grow. The secrets held in this house and the important jobs each person had was interesting. It is amazing that this operation was unknown to the communities around the house. Highly recommended!
The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake is an excellent WWII-era historical fiction novel that is gripping, suspenseful, and engaging. I really enjoyed it! I loved the premise of these fantastic, strong, intelligent, and different women being brought together under cover to help lend their unique services to the war effort. With these covert operations, three women whom would not have had much in common: Judith, Betty, and Evelyn, are under one roof uniting in one common goal. The relationships that develop, the friendships forged through thick and thin are, what I think, is part of the best aspect of this novel. The character backgrounds, the progression, and the development are spot on. The author has a real talent! I enjoyed the character cast, plot, pacing, suspense, twists, turns, and the spot of romance tossed in. It was also fascinating to get a glimpse of a top secret location and some of the activities that took place at a true historic site. Latimer House in Buckinghamshire did exist and I always love it when I get to learn something new while I am enjoying a fictional novel. Highly recommend. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Harper Collins One More Chapter for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.
The Secrets of Latimer House is completely different from anything I have read before from this author and it certainly lives up to expectations. The story of Evelyn, Judith and Betty: three women from very different backgrounds who bond during World War II when they are billeted together at Latimer House, a country estate where secrets abound. An interesting well written story with a cast of strong determined women which made for an excellent read.
Outstanding, struggled to put it down and when I did I was still thinking about the storyline and when I could grab five more minutes to read it again! I have read a lot of war based fiction but none about Latimer House before so as well as a strong storyline it was educational too. Likeable characters always make a book easier to read and this was the case in this book. Each had their own 'history' and strong storyline which all tied together really well as friends. I'd love there to be another in the series to see how things go at the end of the war but there is not mention of another book. I will certainly watch for this author in the future. You have made a weekend of being poorly more bearable, thank you!
What a captivating and beautifully written story about three, strong young women who have signed The Official Secrets Act to work within the top secret confines of Latimer House in the English countryside of Buckinghamshire. Betty, a country girl from the village; Evelyn, an English socialite and Judith, a Jewish girl who has escaped Germany are thrown together as room mates in Latimer House. They all have different backgrounds, personalities and problems but they all have one thing in common - their desire to help the allies win the war and their hope for a better future. The friendship they develop and the love and loyalty they have for each other brings tears and joy to the reader. A real page turner and a must read for lovers of historical fiction !
Jules Wake is a new author to this reader and "The Secrets of Latimer House" was a wonderfully written story. I usually shy away from war stories and when you come across a good one, such as this one, it was worth the read. I didn't know what to expect as I was anticipating on reading a typical WW2 novel. So, this one proved me wrong and I was drawn in from the beginning. The story features society heiress, Evelyn, farm girl Betty and German ex-pat Judith who become friends as they are joined together in WW2 at the Latimer House to work in secret in Buckinghamshire. All three women have very unique backgrounds, are strong and intelligent, and skilled at what they do and were likeable characters that had a desire to contribute in anyway to win the war. Their friendship was heartwarming and loyalty to one another at times brought tears to my eyes. This was a well-written and beautiful story. It contained love, sorrow, hope, and the remnants and realities left from a devastating war. Not having a familiarity/history of WW2, this read as well researched bit of historical fiction that gave me a glimpse into the secrets inside the Latimer House during that time period. This is one novel based on war time that will stick in my memory and one that I very much recommend the read. Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved this historical novel. It was a joy to read, totally captivating and beautifully written. The blending of characters from differing backgrounds and cultures gave rise to a united front at the time of WW2, producing the new age of breaking down social barriers. Research for this novel brought to light many aspects of the little known intelligence operations taking place behind closed doors. Ultimately this was a novel of a fight for survival, not just collectively but for the individual characters harnessing the bonds and love of new friendships.
Delightful!, heartwarming! Strong female characters! Blossoming love! Eternal Friendship! This book was wonderful from beginning to end. I didn’t want to put it down. Evelyn, Betty and Judith are beautifully strong and caring women and their friendship is such an important part of this book. I loved each of the female characters and having them be so different from each other made the friendship special. The author did an amazing job of not only creating the characters but also this storyline. I did not know about this intelligence gathering facility during WWII and it was nice to learn about and to see women not only doing such vital work but being appreciated for their intelligence. If you like WWII books then you will love this one. It touches on different people me how war affects each of us even if we aren’t in the middle of the action. Thank you to One More Chapter, Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for asking me if I would like to read this ARC. It was greatly appreciated.
Absolutely brilliant. I loved the writing style and it's my favourite genre. I believe we all need to read about the horrific period during the war and read about the bravery of women an men that worked on trying to find out about Hitler plans. This is based around 3 different female characters who were all based at Latimer House. They all had fiffeent roles but were do important. The friendship and loyalty runs through the book. And its full of drama 6 stars from me! Thanks to#NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review
I love books about women in the war and this didn't disappoint and I learnt about a new area of work in WW2. We meet three very different women who end up working at Latimer House a centre for interrogating German prisoners of war. Evelyn is a society beauty with a missing fiance, Betty a local girl who isnt just a pretty face and Judith a Jew who has escaped Germany. Their stories are cleverly woven together and historical fact mixes with fiction to give a beautiful story. Inwould lime a sequel please
I loved reading this book. WW2 is one of my favourite points in history to read about, and I loved reading about these roles that women took on during the war. All 3 girls were so lovely to read about, and I loved seeing the friendship that developed between them, while they worked to help win the war
A wonderful story which billets three dissimilar women, who might otherwise never come in contact, into a dormer room while working at Latimer House. There are so many secrets that must be kept in protection of the country that the three can’t even tell each other what they do each day. As their assignments proceed, they learn to find common ground in uncommon situations. Love, heartache, abuse, and tragedy face the women who are doing men’s jobs while learning about who they are and what they are willing to do for self and country. This is a wonderful WWII story that brings a different light to the typical historical fiction novel. If focuses on how both men and women interrogated German prisoners, listened to their musings, analyzed their information, and used it to save lives. Their story is interesting and educational while being entertaining and emotional. The characters are genuine, and the reader begins to care about their well-being shortly into the book. That feeling continues to grow as they encounter situations that are unique to them. The plot is based upon real events and is eye opening. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it is highly recommended! I received an ARC from Harper Collins UK/One More Chapter through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of the book. I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.
Never read this author before but I was intrigued by the premise. Something a bit out of my comfort zone. I have read other books set in this time period and they can be a bit hit and miss but I wanted to give it a go. Very pleased I did. Absolutely loved this book. ,The characters were fantastic, I really clicked with them all. All very different but equally well drawn and crafted. The story carried me along and I found it hard to put the book down to do anything else. A credit to the author that Betty could have come across as shallow, Evelyn as stuck up and Judith as living up to her surname but they didn't . Very strong women, doing a very difficult job with great courage and determination. The positivity of the book is infectious and a welcome tonic for these different, but also troubled times. Normally I roll my eyes at people who want the "what happens in the future bits and only if it's good" and think oh dear give me a break but in this case I really did want to now everything that happened -did Evelyn???? Did Betty and Carl????? (won't post to avoid spoilers) I really did enjoy this book, loved it in fact. Rarely do I give out 5 stars but in this case I have no choice
The Secrets of Latimer House is a wonderful book set at the time of the Second World War about friendship, honesty and making the most of your life: 'Today we all realised what's really important in life. We have to do the living for those who can't, even if its tough going.' It’s a story of three very different women - Betty, Evelyn and Judith - who all find themselves working at Latimer House, deep in the Buckinghamshire countryside and bound by the official secrets act not to discuss their work, even amongst themselves. Their differing backgrounds make the story all the more interesting and I found myself totally unable to put it down in the end. A fantastic read for any fan of WW2 fiction built on fact! With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Last time I read a book set during WWII I decided that would be the last one. I felt I’d read everything there was to know and they were becoming a little bit samey. However when I read the blurb for this book after being invited to read it by One More Chapter it captured my interest. Not only that it sounds so interesting – who doesn’t love a bit of espionage, but also the author Jules Wake who I know normally writes contemporary romance fiction, this looked like something of a departure from that and I was intrigued. Well I’m so glad I decided to read it because I loved it. Perhaps I found it a little bit slow to start off with. Perhaps I found Evelyn Brooke-Edwards initially a little off-putting with her privileged background, but glad to say she turned out to be a lovely, kind hearted but strong character who didn’t shy away from hard work despite her social standing. Betty is a brilliant character. She lives in the village with her mum and younger sister but later moves into Latimer House sharing a small attic room with Judith and Evelyn, mainly to get away from her bullying boyfriend. She’s always cheerful and fun loving and is very proud when she’s promoted from typist to analyst, helped very much by her almost photographic memory. Then there’s Judith who comes across as a very staid, serious kind of person who prefers to keep herself to herself and doesn’t approve of people having fun, certainly not at first anyway. But then that’s hardly surprising since she’s a Jewish refugee from Germany, fleeing to Britain when her home town was invaded and taken over by Nazi rule. Some of the story is related to the work the women do in relation to German prisoners of war. They are brought to Latimer House to enable covert intelligence to be gathered from the prisoners of what is going on militarily within the German forces. The rest of the story surrounds the women’s family lives, their romantic interests and above all their devotion and allegiance to the fight in beating Hitler and hopefully putting an end to a war that had gone on far too long and destroyed too many lives. In spite of the story being based in the throes of war, there are many light hearted moments in the book and the three women, though from very different backgrounds become the very best of friends, always there covering each others back and offering support. It’s a real page turner of a book, always with something new and exciting happening, keeping the reader engrossed. I loved it and am so glad I decided to read it, it’s an excellent first novel in a new genre for this wonderful author. *Will post to my blog on or around publication date* Posted to Goodreads same time as Netgalley
A really interesting and well written book that intertwines fact and fiction. This facts in this story revolve around the coming and goings of a country house - Latimer House - that was taken over by the government during the war to interrogate prisoners of war. Amazing that this could all go on without arousing the suspicion of the local community. The fiction, the relationship between three women working at the House from all backgrounds. Easy to read with a story that draws you in. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for the advance copy of this book
Latimer House is a former stately home in Buckinghamshire which becomes a secret base where high ranking German prisoners are held for interrogation by allied troops. Three women from very different walks of life are recruited. Evelyn is a socialite heiress recruited as an experienced interrogator. She was engaged to a German aristocrat before the war so is fluent in the language. Betty is a farm girl local to the village where Latimer House is situated and is initially recruited as a typist although she is very soon promoted to become an analyst. Judith is a German Jew who has lived in England since 1938 having lost everything in Kristallnacht. Her job is in the M room listening in on prisoners conversations in their cells. The three are billeted together in the original servants room in the attic. of the house. Having signed the official secrets act they are unable to even discuss their individual jobs together. They quickly become firm friends looking out for and caring about each other whilst going about their daily duties. Their friendship is heartwarming and central to the story. It’s about strong women recruited to positions that would never have happened if not for the onset of war. They certainly proved to be more than capable. This is the first novel that I’ve read by Jules Wake and I understand that it’s her first historical book. I sincerely hope there are more to come! Novels set during WW2 are fast becoming a favourite of mine since devouring’The Rose Code’ and ‘The Huntress’ recently. I was surprised to learn that Latimer House really exists and was used during the war as a military establishment and I have researched the history of it online since finishing the book. So interesting. All in all a fabulous read and I highly recommend. My thanks to HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review such a fascinating story
A lovely WWII story, about 3 young Women, Evelyn a Navel intelligence officer from a well to do family, Betty who lived on a farm near to Latimer house and Judith a Jew who fled Berlin before the outbreak of war. The early chapters introduce you to them. they all have different stories to tell. All 3 share the same bedroom at the top of the house, their bedroom window leads onto a small balcony. They all become firm friends. The story takes you through the loves and loss. A book I have no hesitation in recommending. I did notice a couple of historical errors, but this took nothing away from the story and I have not marked it down * wise. When Judith was making her way to Latimer house by train, the carriage description was how they are now, not how they were in the 1940's. They were not open carriages then had ' compartments ' which were for 6 people - that's with the arm rests down. If the train was busy, the ticket collector would come round and ask that you put the arm rests up ! This meant 8 people could sit in the compartment ! My father did tell me when he was in the army and travelling by train during the war they could get more than 8 in. Also it said the they listened to the Radio, it would have been the wireless. My thanks to the publishes & Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for a review which I give freely
The Secrets of Latimer house by Jules Wake is a beautifully written story based on true facts. Latimer house in Buckinghamshire was used in WW2 secretly for interrogation of German POW’s. It’s 1943, three young women, Evelyn, Betty, and Judith all from different walks of life are brought to Latimer house to do their bit for the war. Each has a different role to play to get information from the German prisoners to help win the war. The story is of friendship, integrity, and bravery and resilience of the three girls. But what they did they had to be kept a secret, which was at time hard for all the girls. Thank you Harper Collins One more chapter for a copy of ‘The Secrets of Latimer House for an honest review. WW2 is one of my favourite subjects of historical fiction and I have read many. This is the first book from the author that I have read and will look at their previous novels. This was a brilliant suspenseful historical novel that I really enjoyed and cannot fault it any way. 5 stars from me.
Three women, from three different walks of life come together to work at Latimer House in WW2. Latimer House is a secret location where German prisoners of war are being interrogated in a bid to find out the secrets of German warfare. The story revolves around these women. Betty who lives in the local village and is destined to marry a man who bullies and belittles her. She feels she has to do what he wants in order to keep her mother and sister safe . Judith is a German Jewish refuge who has lost all her family and is full of bitterness towards the German prisoners. Evelyn who comes from a more upper crust family and hasn't heard from her German fiancé in four years .They decided to breakup because they were on opposite sides in the war. I loved this book. I quickly became immersed in the lives of these women who are trying to make the best of their situations. They became firm friends, looking out for each other and sharing the good times as well as the bad. I particularly like the quote about what friendship is and it has stuck in my mind. A brilliant read that is calling out for a sequel. Although there is a really good epilogue I still want to find out what happened next.
I have been aware of some of the “Secrets of Latimer House” for some time so was delighted to be offered the chance to read this book set in WW2. Latimer house was as secret as Bletchley Park – everyone knew that it was being used for the war effort but what went on behind closed doors was known to a select few. The story focuses on three young women from very different backgrounds who are brought together through their work at Latimer House during WW2. Although they are working in different areas they soon become firm friends - bound by the official secrets act and the secrecy surrounding the operations they can't even tell each other what they do, but they all know that they are key parts of the jigsaw and each has a valid contribution to make. • Evelyn is from an upper class family, privileged and pretty, but she is also fluent in German and a skilled interrogator. • Judith is a German Jew who came to England following the destruction of her father’s business during Kristallnacht. The Nazi’s took everything from her so she has no loyalty to Germany & is 100% on the side of the allies, using her language skills to help bring the war to an end. • Betty is a girl from the local village – she cannot type as she claimed, but she has an exceptionally sharp mind and soon becomes a leading analyst. All the characters are well written and believable. It is easy to picture them and imagine them as the book unfolds. As an officer, it would have been very easy for Evelyn to consider herself superior to the others but she became acutely aware of her privilege and a significant quote as she reflected back on her time at Latimer is: “It made me realise that we have more in common than our differences and I fervently hope in the future that people will remember that” The story has been well-researched with some interesting details (such as the convoluted route taken when driving some high-ranking POWs through London so they would only see the parts not affected by the bombing, rather than the widely-reported devastation). It is entertaining, emotional, and yet still very believable, probably because it is based upon real events. For anyone unfamiliar with Latimer House, but having an interest in Bletchley Park & similar areas, I would strongly recommend that you read up on Latimer! I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to those who like female-focused WW2 historical fiction-based-on-fact, but also to anyone interested in Latimer House or people who like stories of female friendship, loyalty & honesty with a bit of gentle romance thrown in! #NetGalley #JulesWake #HarperCollinsUK #OneMoreChapter #TheSecretsOfLatimerHouse
Having previously read novels set in and around Bletchley Park, this story provides an insight into other clandestine operations in the Home Counties during WW2. Three very different young women are employed in varying roles at Latimer House. The set up is so secret that, even though they share a room, they are not supposed to discuss their work. This is the tale of their exploits, home lives, backgrounds and romances. Very readable. Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.
"The Secrets of Latimer House" was an excellent story filled with intriguing events and believable characters. Even when I was still only partway through, I found myself recommending it to friends. I have a feeling this is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. There was a quotation shared in the book that sums this story up very nicely. “Friendship improves happiness and abates grief by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” - Marcus Tullius Cicero Evelyn, Betty and Judith all came from very different backgrounds and, on the surface, would seem to have very little in common. Yet, when they are thrown together as roommates in the Latimer House, they find they share more in common than not. And as each finds their way through the grief and trials of war, they discover that friendship truly does improve happiness and abate grief.
I stayed up late to finish this book last night. And as I was trying to get to sleep, after finishing it, I started thinking about what I liked about it and what I didn’t like. For the first time in a few months, I couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like. This is the first book I have read by this author and I will be looking for others. The story centers around three women that come from totally different backgrounds. They are in England at the beginning of the war and all three want to do something useful to help in the war. Much to their own amazement, they become fast friends and learn to support one another. The characters are well developed and the storyline is interesting and captivating. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy for my honest review. Good book.
I took The Secrets of Latimer House away on holiday with me and it kept me entertained all week. The story follows 3 very different girls as they share a room and do different jobs, but they can't even tell each other what they do. Evelyn is from an upper class family, Judith is a Jewish who came to England just before the war to escape the Nazi regime and Betty is a girl from the village. We watch as their friendship and confidence in themselves grow. All the characters are well written and believable. It is easy to picture them and imagine their turmoil. A very different book based around WW2 but well worth the read.
A hypnotising story based round the friendship and camaraderie of three young women, Evelyn Betty and Judith brought together at Latimer House during WW2. They bond during their secret work and you live through their ups and downs at work , life and play whilst giving an insight into the invaluable work that was carried out at Latimer House in its efforts to support the war. It will make you laugh , smile and cry as you live their lives Three highly likeable and well portrayed characters .
The Secrets of Latimer House – Jules Wake “In the war against Hitler, every secret counts” A beautiful and amazing story of three brave young women in Britain during WWII. The socialite Evelyn, the Jewish expat Judith and the farm girl Betty. The most unlikely trio but thrown together at Latimer House by becoming room mates. The chapters flick between each of the girls so you get an insight into all of their lives and journeys. Latimer House is a secret interrogation centre just outside of London. A complete secret to everyone, they are not allowed to discuss their specific roles even with each other. I loved to find out at the end that this book was based on actual real events and Latimer House is a real place. I enjoyed this book so much and I spent the last few chapters crying. Crying for hope and friendship. “To tomorrow, because today is done” I recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction, strong female friendships and a story showing that there is always light and happiness at the end of the darkness. TW: discussions about murder, domestic violence
I loved reading this book.I was immediately drawn in by the characters the setting the time in history.The story was so real so well written I will be recommending the book and the author.#netgalley #harperonechapter
If this is Jules Wake's first book of historical fiction, she's done a fabulous job. The characterization and intrigue set in a burrow of England during WWII made this a page turner. Three very different women from opposite backgrounds, found themselves bunking together in an attic garret and forge unforgettable friendships among them. The Secrets of Latimer House was an excellent read of the dedication and hard work done on the sidelines, ferreting out details and information from Nazi POWs to assist our soldiers on the frontlines. Ms. Wales did not spare the heartbreak and grizzly, vicious details of the war bonding the three women, Judith, Betty and Evelyn, forever.
This is based on true events that happened during WW11 around the home counties of England. So very well written and researched making this a real pleasure to read. I love the war sagas and felt that this was so real, as it was. This really is a book full of emotions of every sort. 5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this eARC
This book is about three girls all working together during WW2. They become good friends and help each other out through some difficult times. This book has strong female characters and their story was interesting. I enjoyed the book. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
Secrets! Who does not love a good secret? There are so many tantalizing secrets wrapped up in this emotionally charged read. The Secrets of Latimer House is based on true historical events that occurred at the Latimer House in Buckinghamshire. Where secrets were deeply hidden during World War II. No one knew what was going on within these walls. All the townspeople believed it was a distribution center. Little did they know that Latimer House was the place where high ranking German POWs were questioned and their cells were bugged. Listening for any tiny piece of information that could help change the tide in the war. Even the people working within the walls did not know everything that was occurring. You can tell that Jules Wake did a deep dive into researching this fascinating place, which made the story of her three incredible female characters even more rich and vivid. All aspects of this book are amazing. But the characters immediately hooked me and dragged me into their world from the get-go. They are deeply layered, fantastically different, strong, unique, and develop a deep sense of belonging. Evelyn is from a family of means, who also have a strong history of being in the Navy. She is intelligent, posh, stands up for herself, and knows her way around an interrogation room. Betty asks for a transfer back to her hometown distribution center, the Latimer House. She is quick witted, beautiful, full of fun, feisty, and has a great mind for details. Judith is Jewish and was able to escape from Germany and make her way to England. She feels immense guilt for being able to have this second chance at life, while she hears about the horrific atrocities that are occurring to other Jews. Judith is a pillar of strength, once she allows herself to breath and be able to live for all those who cannot. All three of these women of completely different backgrounds are billeted together at Latimer House. Learning to lean on one another, trust each other, and build a solid relationship that will last a lifetime. It was compelling to read about these three woman's jobs, which were normally held by men. Their stories and lives weaving together flawlessly making for an astonishing read. This book takes you in from the first page. The characters are enticing and relatable. I always find old estates, fascinating when you research what has occurred there over the years. The things these places have seen fills me with such wonder and awe. The Secrets of Latimer House did it for me. As soon as I read it of course I looked up the Latimer House and the internet is full of information. Wake did astonishing job presenting the history that courses through the book. Do yourself a favor and add this book to your list, do not keep it a secret either! Thank you to Jules Wake, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley for allowing me to read this riveting, enthralling, all-encompassing book.
As a huge Jules Wake fan, and a lover of historical fiction, I was excited to read her first historical fiction novel and it fully deserves 5 stars! This is a novel full of suspense, drama, intrigue, and emotion. Based on the true events of a local Manor house in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House and what happened there was a closely guarded secret; it was the top-secret POW site for interrogation – many of Hitlers high ranking generals passed through here during the war. This novel is based on the story of three brave young women, and not a group you would have normally put together – a local farm girl, a well-to-do socialite, and a Jew; but each are incredible women. They are all strong, brave, and determined no matter what Latimer House may throw at them. A great friendship between the three is formed when they share a bedroom although they have no idea what job the others do in Latimer House. Fantastic characters: I really loved getting to know them all and seeing how they blossomed doing the important work they were there to do. Their personal lives get as difficult as their professional ones at times, but they are a tightly bonded group and they support one another through tears, and triumph. I love all Jules’ writes, but this has blown me away. As I read, I felt I was there, I wanted to do my bit and listen in like Judith and interrogate like Evelyn: And who wouldn’t want to have the personality of Betty. As I read, I could sense the passion Jules has clearly poured into this novel. The research and knowledge that has gone into this is incredible and the result is testament to it. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and especially of this time period and this is definitely one of my favourites. For fans of WWll and historical fiction, I highly recommend!
A stunning read - three beautifully written characters, each with their own motivations and dreams, drawn together by incredible and important work. I loved the over-arching stories, the characters and their development, the thoughtful exploration of the nuances of war, and the richly detailed explanations and descriptions, which indicated deep and clever research. A must read.
What a wonderful story about three young heroines in WW11 ,all three are from different backgrounds ,a socialite,a farm girl and a Jewish expat but all three are united in their desire to help win the war.They are working at Latimer House in Buckinghamshire ,a secret interrogation centre for captured German soldiers .This book is actually based on a true events which did take place and Latimer House was a real house ,so for me that makes the book so much more interesting .This is such an excellent historical story giving an insight into how it was back then .The girls are all lovely characters with their own stories to tell ,a compelling read of friendship loyalty and untimately love .Many thanks to the Publisher ,the Author and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest review .
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this brilliantly written historical novel ww2 is raging and women are taking on jobs that normally arent open to them....3 girls from different parts of life come together to work at latimer house evelyn is the debutante betty from the poor side of life judith a jew who managed to escape her homeland and came to england all three are thrown together at latimer house where they are doing secret work for the war effort, and the friendships that they make will see them through the rest of their lives as they find something in each other that binds them together brilliantly written and the characters come alive. have to admit have a bit cry at the end, as it was so well written...will be keeping an eye out for more of this authors works
I absolutely loved spending time with Evelyn, Betty and Judith. They make great chums and I really cared about each of them having a happy ending. They have essential skills that help Britain win the war and are great characters. Each have their individual battles to fight and rewards to gain. I cheered when the bad men in their lives got socked in the jaw!
I couldn't put this down once istarted reading the book. The 3 main characters were well described, with sensitive portrayal of their past experiences. The place setting Latimer House, unfamiliar to me, although I know the area. I was completely in the dark about its use during the 2nd World War. Unlike Bletchley Park. .I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction.
A cat’s meow of a story, beautifully depicting wartime duty, love and above all friendship, all hidden away behind the idyllic façade of a home counties country house. Making it impossible not to get swept up in the era, Wake writes with such clarity, insight and compassion, I was rooting for her three heroines every step of the way.
I absolutely adored this. From the first chapter, I was hooked. Each character was well developed and has their own trauma, anxieties and hope. There is something that works so well between the three women, Evelyn, Betty and Judith, their friendship exceeds the limits of the pages of this book. They felt real and raw and human. Over the course of this novel, we learn about their pasts and futures as they work through the war and everything that is thrown at them. There wasn't a single moment during this book where I was bored, by the end of it I was almost disappointed with how quickly I had finished it. Wake has a talent for crafting stories and characters that feel honest and evoke such strong emotions from the reader. A brilliant Historical Fiction that was an absolute joy to read.
What a wonderful read of this historical fiction. I could not put the book down!! Three very different women came together and formed a magical friendship through WW2 while working in a secret location Latimer House in Buckinghamshire. This is based on a true story where thousands of German prisoners passed through Latimer House. Betty was a farm girl, Evelyn from a wealthy background and Judith a German Jew who came from totally different backgrounds and were very different types of women who were thrown together during this time and shared a room at Latimer House. I just loved this book!
Thank you to the publisher for inviting me to read this book. Wow, I thought this was a really, really good read. I like historical fiction and loved that this was set in the UK. The author has wrote a very enjoyable book here. Evelyn, Judith and Betty meet when they are sent to Latimer House to work. I thought the main characters were very likeable, with each having a good back history. They share a room and as time passes a friendship forms between them. I loved the authors writing style and that the story was told through the different characters. .The story flowed really well and was such a pleasure to read. I’ve not read many WW2 UK set books and it was a lovely change to read this one. I found this to be very realistic and believable read, which I devoured in just over a day. For me, the author has created the three main characters and bought them vividly to life through her writing. I could picture the house, nearby villages and the characters in my mind when reading. The book is about friendships, trust, hope and never giving up when times are hard. I particularly enjoyed reading about Evelyn, Judith and Betty's work during war time and how this affected them. A lovely, uplifting and poignant read at times and one I would recommend.
Thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction set in England during world war two. Based on true events, Latimer House was where top ranking prisoners of war were taken in order to be interrogated to find out any useful information. Any thing they found out could successfully aid in helping us overcome the enemy & bring an end to the war. They got the most useful information from bugging the mens cells as they would talk between each other & reveal things that could help the war effort. Latimer House was so secret the villages & even some of the staff within the walls were not aware of what went on. They let it be known that it was a distribution centre for goods which worked really well. The main three characters were three very different women who came from various backgrounds ranging from the highest to the lowest in class. A really good story with strong female characters pulling together through adversity. Well written interesting story line & a really enjoyable read.
Wealthy Oxford educated Evelyn, Jewish refugee Judith, and Betty would never had met were it not for their unique talents which don't become fully apparent to anyone, including themselves until they are assigned to Latimer House in the British countryside to assist in the war effort. The House is used as a debriefing site for newly arrived German POWS. Evelyn's an ace interrogator and she's got German as a result not only of her studies but also her life before the War. Judith knows technical terms and Betty, well she might be the most surprising one of all. All three woman also have very different romantic relationships which are integrated well into the story. If I have a quibble it's that Bert is written too broadly. It's well written and engaging story with a good twist that will pull at the heartstrings. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. I really enjoyed this and recommend for fans of historical fiction. Don't miss the afterword.
The three women, Evelyn, Betty, and Judith have very different backgrounds and different jobs at Latimer House. They are not allowed to talk about what they do despite working at the same place. The women form a friendship and slowly begin to trust each other and help each other when each needs it the most. While this is a story that happened in WWII, it is much more a story of friendships, love, and learning to accept yourself. Each woman has baggage from their past that they must overcome to become stronger. I love this type of story. I also loved the writing style. Its the style that you can picture what is going on. When you look up from the book, you are surprised you are not in England. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy stories of triumph with a background of WWII history.
Set during world war two this is the beautiful story of friendship, coming together and is full of hope. Evelyn, Betty and Judith are allnfrom different backgrounds but work togther during the difficult times. With sad times, happy times and a dash of romance this really is a fantastic read. I enjoyed the storyline, loved the characters and woukd recommend this to anybody who enjoys this time era.
An exhilarating tale of three young women ‘doing their bit’ for Britain during the second world war. Coming from all walks of life, Betty, Judith and Evelyn find themselves on a level playing field as they begin work in Latimer House where the work is highly confidential and completely unknow between departments and especially to outsiders. Each young woman has hopes and dreams for the future, but first – and more immediate – they want to do all they can to help stop the Nazis and help Britain and the Allies win the war. Latimer House, like Bletchley Park, was bursting with secrets during wartime completely unknown to the greater population, especially those who lived in the area and this is a most intriguing and fascinating tale, based on facts but with fictional characters. Captivating and intriguing, this is a novel which pulled me in from the very beginning. While Jules Wake is an author new to me, I shall certainly be looking out for her work in future. This is a beautifully spun tale, skilfully written and enthralling to the very end by which everything is neatly finished off, something I really appreciate in any novel. Truly enchanting and, on a more serious note, food for thought resulting in total admiration for a generation who put King and Country before themselves; worth pondering on in today’s often selfish society. A sparkling five star read and one I’m happy to recommend. My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley and to Rachel Gilbey for my spot on this tour; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Loved this one, it was interesting and different from the usual World War Two. This book dealt with the “other side” of the war, the secret Sid elf spy’s and German prisoners of war. Very historical but, so good. I devoured this one very quickly as I found I didn’t want to put it done. More please from this author. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
It's 1943, and with the Second World War in full swing, three very different girls - Evelyn, Judith and Betty - find themselves thrown together at Latimer House, a secret Government facility in the Buckinghamshire countryside. There they are involved in interrogating important Nazi prisoners of war, one of whom is Evelyn's former fiancé. Can the three friends help each other cope with all that the work throws at them? The Secrets of Latimer House is a fascinating and engrossing story, made all the better because it is based on the very real work undertaken during the war. The three main characters are well created and their behaviour and attitude make them believable and engaging and help the story flow. A very different style and story to Jules Wake's usual books, but it is just as good. Thoroughly enjoyable and a real page turner. Brilliant!
Three young ladies end up thrust together in a room in a large house in Buckinghamshire - Latimer House - taken over by the SOE during WW2. Wealthy educated Evelyn, Jewish refugee Judith, and Betty all had unique talents, for instance interrogating newly arrived German captured POW's., and listening in to their rooms which were bugged. The most interesting part of their life in the house was that they could not tell each other what their roles were! Of course, all three girls also have very different romantic relationships which are took away descriptions of their valuable work, but all in all immensely readable. Thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins One More Chapter for the chance to read and review.
This is a book that I just couldn’t put down, a definite page turner. I really enjoyed the characters and to discover that there was such a facility during the war made it all the more interesting. Anyone who enjoys novels set during the Second World War couldn’t fail to enjoy this. Thoroughly recommended.