Cover Image: The Girl from Bletchley Park

The Girl from Bletchley Park

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Member Reviews

I did enjoy this story told about Julia and her family in the present day and Pamela ( Julia’s grandmother) in 1943. The older story had more appeal to me and I found Pamela’s life at Bletchley very interesting. In fact, I was disappointed when the story reverted to the present day, I just wanted to keep reading Pamela’s story. There is a romance for Pamela and two men vying for her, also some mystery event that happened. Julia is a strong and capable woman but doesn’t get much help from her husband, Marc. Julia learns more about her grandmother through photographs and memoirs. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This was a dual time story with a modern woman exploring her family’s secret history. Her grandmother had been part of the team at Bletchley Park working on intercepting German communications. The historical aspect of the novel had been well researched and from what I remember from visiting BP quite accurate. The characters were likeable and believable but the plot was a bit formulaic and there was nothing unexpected or controversial. A pleasant enough and easy read.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

I loved this book and loved reading about  everything that was done during WWII by Bletchley Park 

I liked the way each of the main characters had a different voice and the two timelines. 

It was a little sad of the way Clarissa was thought of as the grandmothers closest friend when it became clear she was a sister in law.. 

But, apart from this, I loved it. 

Recommend this book.
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I really loved reading this. I have visited Bletchley Park a few times so could visualise where part of the story was set. 
Two timelines:
1942 Pam, who gave up a place in Oxford University to go to do her bit for the war effort, secures a place at Bletchley Park as a code-breaker and present day Julia, her grand-daughter who finds a camera belonging to Pam which leads her to find out more about what her grandmother did during the war. 

I love historical fiction to this was right up my street. I loved it.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book which is a magnificent story spanning several generations and set both in the modern day and during the war.

In modern day we meet Julia, a mum who is let down badly by her husband and her business partner both of whom had for years been her rocks.

During the war we meet Pam who joins the Wrens and secures a job at Bletchley Park making a huge difference to the war effort and navigating the perils of young love.

Highly recommend and a 5 star read for me. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A tale that flips between modern day and WWII connecting two families to Bletchley Park.  It shows the reader how strong women actually are under the most dire of circumstances, but more importantly how resilient they are as well.  It’s a tale of intrigue, love, intellect, loyalty and patriotism.   

I loved the glimpses of the inner workings of Bletchley Park. The friendships formed under the complicated era.  It really was a fun read and I’d give it about 4.5 stars.  Thanks to NetGalley for the early read.
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An exciting historical novel. Pamela was recruited to Bletchley Park in 1942. Julia is Pamela’s granddaughter and is on the trail to find out what Pamela did during the war but she also has her own problems as a hard working business owner, mother and wife.
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The Girl From Bletchley Park is a sweet, easy to read novel set across dual timelines. The present-day narrative focuses on mum of two Julia as she tries to deal with her difficult marriage and struggling business. We also move back in time to the 1940s, as Julia’s grandmother Pam joins the Wrens to help with the war effort as a top-secret codebreaker.

Both storylines are easy to read and enjoyable. They’re quite different…but in many ways similar too – I felt frustrated with both Julia and Pam who seemed so ridiculously naive as to not see what was obviously staring them in the face. I wanted them to have a bit more spark about them sometimes. However, I really enjoyed reading about Julia and Pam, and though I would have liked to read more detail about the code-breaking parts in the 1940s timeframe, I liked the balance of modern-day and wartime narratives. Although Julia missed a lot of what was staring her in the face, she was a really likeable, down to earth person who I really warmed to!

This book also really made me want to visit Bletchley Park – somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time! The history of that building is amazing and I’ll always enjoy reading books set in that location – this one being no exception. Also, what a gorgeous cover this book has! 😍

It’s a great book for curling up on the sofa with – pair with a cup of tea!
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As usual in my reviews, I will not rehash the plot (there are other reviews like that out there if that's what you are looking for).

This was an enjoyable read.  Being set in two timelines lifts it above the "expected" format of this type of historical fiction, and adds a lot to the story.  There are paralells between Julia and Pamela's lives, which again adds to the tale.

I was drawn to this novel by the title, having visited Bletchley Park a couple of years ago following a fascination and admiration of the work carried out there (the fact that much of this "war work" was carried out in secret by women, against the usual expectations of what "women's work" entailed at that time, has always impressed me).  It was nice to be able to visualise the setting, and having seen examples of the machines made it all the moreT realistic for me.

I feltl that the background had been well-researched, and was impressed when I found that the author had written it during the lockdown period (thus unable to visit the site in person during that time) - so all credit to her for that!

You'll enjoy this if you are a fan of historical novels with a touch of romance, and dual timeline stories.  I'll happily read more by this author.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC.  All opinions my own.
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I read this novel in advance of publication through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Before lockdown I visited BP which is why I chose this book to review. Because the BP element is mainly set during WW2, deciphering German codes that ultimately saved thousands of our young men from death, I found it particularly interesting; a human story to put what I had seen in perspective. Reading this book was for me like stepping back in time, the house and huts I had visited suddenly populated with ghosts from the past. This part of the story concerns Pam, a very bright young girl recruited to help the war effort because her mathematical ability. And, of course, the young man she falls in love with. It’s as though you have been transported back in the Tardis and are observing first-hand.

The modern-day element tells the story of Julia, a very bright coder and boss of a computer company run from a wing of her house, her husband, jealous of her success, and her very loving children. When her brother discovers old photos of their grandmother, and they develop a reel of film from a Box Brownie, she starts seeking out the truth of what her grandmother did, and why she had never spoken about it. She also must make life-changing decisions after her business partner betrays her. 

Both story elements are strong. The shuttling back and forth, and what Julia discovers about Pam, and keeping the plates spinning regarding her business, keeps you turning the pages. 

The sum of the parts is much more than a love story. Well worth a read.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this gripping novel

this is pam and julias story. each has alternative chapters relating to their stories.. and it works really well

pam is just about to finish school and go onto university to study maths... when she is approached to go for an interview at Bletchley park, her teacher cant tell her any more only that its to do with the war effort

julia is running her own successful business with her best friend and also bringing up her own family doing most of the household chores with not much help from her husband

this is an amazing story and kept me hooked as you find out early on that pam and julia are related and nobody knows about the bletchley park storyline in her pams life...she has kept it secret to the grave and its only by accident that they find out...

and reading the separate storylines its uncanny how they are both similar

but this story is so much more than bp its also about betrayals and trust, its heartstopping as well....

going to be keeping an eye out for more of this authors works from now on.. she knows how to keep a storyline flowing and her characters are so real
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Kathleen McGurl, The Girl from Bletchley Park, HQ Digital, 2021

The Girl from Bletchley Park is written from the perspective of two strong women, Pam and Julia, whose choice of partners and careers form the basis of the narrative. Their stories are told alternately, from Pam’s perspective during the second world war, and Julia’s in the present day.  Both narratives involve the complexities both women face in dealing with romance, marriage, and paid work. Pam’s story raises the serious ramifications of choosing a partner from the beginning of her relationships with two distinctly different men. Julia’s story begins after years of happy marriage which has produced two teenage sons. 

Each woman must deal with the joys and challenges of their paid work, and life outside that work. Pam grapples with mastering her complex responsibilities at Bletchley Park, developing romances, and making friendships. Julia’s story examines women’s challenging role juggling a career and domestic responsibilities where her sons follow her husband’s example of doing little around the home but expecting much. Julia’s successful business is both a boon and a problem. Financially the family benefits. However, Julia’s husband is somewhat wary of her success, and at times the domestic and business demands clash.

The women’s stories collide when Julia and her brother find their grandmother’s box brownie camera with an undeveloped film inside. When that film is developed Pam’s past is discovered, highlighting her so far unknown work and friendships during the war. Signing the Official Secrets Act impacts on her war time relationships and the honesty with which she conducts them; her determination to maintain that secrecy afterwards has left her story unexplored. She leaves the war behind, like the film in the camera, when she begins her post war life. 

However, Pam’s war time story is worth telling, from her facility with maths, to her eventual acceptance as a coder at Bletchley Park. This is particularly eventful, with her introduction to the huge coding machine, the Colossus computer, and the associated Tunny Machine on which she worked breaking codes; deaths; spies; and friendships across class lines. She has serious decisions to make, these contrasting with the social life of romances, dances and picnics that are also an integral part of her war time life. 

Julia is a hard-working career woman grappling with the challenges of fulfilling an unrealistic ideal domestic role at the same time as earning much of the income on which the family depends. In accepting a major part of domestic responsibilities early in the novel she does little to change the dynamic in the marriage and household. However, Julia, like Pam, has some tough decisions to make. She must decide what to do about her marriage, her business, and her sons. Her story weaves these concerns together with her investigation of Pam’s life.

Kathleen McGurl has deftly combined the exigencies of wartime with the domestic drama of peace time. The connections made between Pam’s and Julia’s lives are enhanced by Julia’s visit to Bletchley Park with her sons late in the novel which brings together the personal and public impact of Pam’s work. The visit to Bletchley Park also creates an interest in the story beyond this fictional account.  Like the author who says that she would like to visit Bletchley Park, readers are also encouraged to investigate the events behind Pam’s story. My enjoyment of the novel was certainly enhanced by having visited Bletchley Park several years ago. The combination of fictional events and characters, past and present; some real characters from the past; and a present day visit to the scene of Pam’s story provides further insight into this intriguing feature of World War 11. At the same time, the women’s personal stories are developed well, making this an overall engaging read.
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I really enjoyed this book. The dual stories is becoming more popular with authors. You have to be a talented writer to get this right and Kathleen McGurl does just this. 

Flitting between the present and the war. This book is a great read and flows well

Highly recommend
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This dual timeline story is split almost equally between the present and the past. The connection is Julia and her grandmother. via photos.  While the stories are very different, the women in them are very similar. They follow similar paths and challenges with both women proving how strong they can be. I love dual timeline stories and was at first disappointed that the stories did not seem to have a lot to do with each other but enjoyed both stories. It was after I finished the book I realized how close the themes were.
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Time for the final of my holiday reads and it is another ARC edition book. The Girl from Bletchley Park follows two narratives: the first being of Julia, an IT business owner who is trying to find the balance between work and family, and Pam, Julia's grandmother who worked at Bletchley Park during WW2 breaking codes.
I was drawn to this book as I am myself a woman in the field of ICT and technology, and due to my work as a teacher of IT, I have the pleasure of teaching my students about the amazing work that went on during the war at Bletchley Park and how the effort made there by the men and women codebreakers meant that the war turned in our favour.
As I have discussed before, there are very few dual storyline books that I enjoy as I feel like somewhere down the line one of the plots gets forgotten about or the quality of writing in one isn't as good as the other. However, this book avoids that throughout which I was so happy about considering how much I was looking forward to reading this book.
The wartime story boasts lots of twists and turns that, while they could be expected, seem like they come out of nowhere like the truth about Pam's boyfriend Frank. It seems fairly accurate in terms of what you would expect to be happening during the time period discussed in this section of the book, and you aren't lulled into a false sense of non-fictional writing which some more fictional historical novels can fall into doing. 
The modern section was also well written and I loved the similarities that were there between Julia and her grandmother. The relationships within the family and those around Julia were well-established meaning that when things started turning for the worse, you did feel sorry for Julia and those around her. My only criticism would be that there was a part of the storyline that was a little too obvious but that could be due to my own personal experiences in life so some people may be shocked by that part of the modern story.
A very brief review of this book as I have been struggling to write more without giving away parts of the story that would be best kept a secret until you read it yourself. All in all, a very well-written book that would appeal to everyone whether you know about Bletchley or not. The only thing that stopped it from getting that perfect rating for me was the obviousness of one of the main plot points in the modern section.
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Fictional WW2 based on Bletchely Park Dual Timeline grandmother and granddaughters lives brought together through an old Brownie box camera and photos the granddaughter Julia had processed and also her Grandmother Pam’s friend Clarissa who she worked with at Bletchley Park who had written a version of their lives during the war.

I loved reading this book with great characters.
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This dual timeline book is an enjoyable read that I would categorize as women's fiction with an historical aspect. The present timeline follows Julia, who juggles running a software company, being mom to 2 boys, and a husband who doesn't do anything to help out around the house. Her story alternates with that of her grandmother, Pamela, who was recruited to work at Bletchley Park (BP) shortly after graduating from school in 1942. Pamela's story is more about her day-to-day life and how she met Julia's grandfather than her work at BP.  In the present, Julia's brother is cleaning out their grandparents' house and brings Julia some old photos and a Brownie camera that still holds an undeveloped film. When Julia has the photos developed, she realizes her grandmother worked at BP. As she tries to learn more about her grandmother's role in the war effort, Julia's life starts to crumble around her and she has to reassess the priorities in her life. Some of the big developments in the book were easy to see coming, but it didn't detract from enjoying the story. The book was very easy to engage in and I enjoyed the characters and their "real life" problems.
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This is a dual timeline book set in WW2 with Pamela and the modern day with her granddaughter Julia 
I was interested in the WW2 parts about Beltchley Park and code breaker bit I wanted more detail about the work here and I didn't warn to the characters feeling them a little 1 dimensional.  I also found the story about Feanl a little predictable 
In the present I found Julia irritating and didn't like how so much happened to her bit at the end everything was fine, as life isn't that twee 
A good but not great book
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This book is told in two timelines, In 1942, Pam turns down her place at Oxford University to become a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. She meets two men there that both try to impress her. She falls hard for one of them and becomes friends with the other. In the present day, Julia is a successful married mother of two children. Her brother presents her with forgotten photos of her grandmother as a young woman at Bletchley Park. She goes on a search to find out why her grandmother never  told them about her time there. She finds an incredible story of betrayal and bravery and is inspired by her grandmothers courage. I highly recommend this book.
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I have read a lot of historical fiction, especially from the ww2 era. This book has a dual timeline. In the ww2 era we follow the young and smart pam. In the present tine we follow her grandaughter Julia and her family. I liked that the book taught us how important the code bteakers were during ww2. I liked the informative part of the book. But It was too tame, for. Me, i wanted more Meat on the bone. I wanted  a book that would make me cry. But still a solid book. Thank you to netgalley for letting me read This e arc in exchange for an honest opinion
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