Welcome today’s stop on the blog tour for The Girl from Bletchley Park by Kathleen McGurl. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour and to HQ Digital for my review copy via NetGalley. The Girl from Bletchley Park is available now as an ebook and will be published in paperback in January 2022.
About the Book
A country at war. A heartbreaking betrayal.
1942.Three years into the war, Pam turns down her hard-won place at Oxford University to become a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. There, she meets two young men, both keen to impress her, and Pam finds herself falling hard for one of them. But as the country’s future becomes more uncertain by the day, a tragic turn of events casts doubt on her choice – and Pam’s loyalty is pushed to its limits…
Present day. Julia is struggling to juggle her career, two children and a husband increasingly jealous of her success.Her brother presents her with the perfect distraction: forgotten photos of their grandmother as a young woman at Bletchley Park. Why did her grandmother never speak of her time there? The search for answers leads Julia to an incredible tale of betrayal and bravery – one that inspires some huge decisions of her own..
Format: ebook (326 pages) Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication date: 3rd November 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction, Dual Time
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I really enjoyed The Stationmaster’s Daughter when I read it back in 2019 so my interest was immediately piqued when I learned Kathleen McGurl had a new book coming out.
There is a continuing fascination with the work carried out at Bletchley Park during World War 2, work which we now know proved of great significance to the war effort. The author takes us “behind the scenes” at Bletchley Park through the story of Pamela, a promising student of mathematics who is persuaded to defer her place at university and instead put her skills to work in the service of her country. During her time at Bletchley Park, Pamela makes friendships that will last a lifetime but also learns in the most dramatic way possible that not everyone is quite what they seem, the author deftly playing with the reader’s doubts and suspicions.
Interwoven with Pamela’s experiences is the present day story of Julia, Pamela’s granddaughter. As the book progresses the similarities between the situations the two women face become increasingly apparent. For example, a neat touch is that Julia runs her own IT business whilst Pamela worked on what could be considered an early version of a computer. In different ways, both Pamela and Julia experience betrayal by those they have come to trust but also find help from unexpected quarters. Along the way ties of friendship and affection are tested and both women have to summon up all their strength to protect those they care about.
I really liked the way Julia’s relationship with her two sons, Oscar and Ryan, was portrayed and how they progress from being stroppy teenagers to showing signs of becoming fine young men. Julia’s brother, Bob, and Drew, the husband of Julia’s business partner, act as counterpoints to other less than admirable examples of the male species. And, in the earlier timeline, Clarissa proves a steadfast friend to Pamela whose warnings, as it turns out, Pamela would have done well to heed.
The Girl from Bletchley Park will appeal to fans of dual timeline stories with an element of mystery, and those with an interest in the contribution, often largely unsung, of women to the war effort.
In three words: Engaging, emotional, intriguing
Try something similar: The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson
About the Author
Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe.