TRANSCRIPTION, by Kate Atkinson, Bond Street Book/Doubleday Canada/PenguinRandomHouse


From the bestselling author of Life After Life, a new novel that explores the repercussions of one young woman’s espionage work during World War II.

Juliet Armstrong is a dissatisfied radio producer in a 1950s London that is recovering from the war as much as she is. During World War Two, Juliet was conscripted into service, transcribing conversations between an MI5 agent and a ring of suspected German sympathizers. The seemingly dull work quickly plunged Juliet into a treacherous world of code words and secret meetings where Juliet herself was sent into the field. These moments of intrigue and romance feel like a lifetime ago as Juliet trudges through her commute, her job and her new life. But as Juliet and the rest of London find ways to return to normal, her routine is upended by an encounter with a mysterious man from her past life.

Haunted by the relationships and actions of her past and facing a very real threat in the present, Juliet cannot escape the repercussions of her work for the government. With no other choice, Juliet is quickly pulled back into the life of espionage she thought she’d left behind. Kate Atkinson’s latest novel brings mid-century London to life in a gripping tale of deception and consequences.

Out September 2018


I received this book in exchange for my honest review. And… I received a fantastic book mark!!!!!! One more for my collection. This is my first Kate Atkinson bookmark too!

I really, really wanted to like this book. Kate Atkinson is a very talented author and has put out many fantastic books.  Perhaps, I can base my lack of enjoyment on the following:

  1. Too many time-jumps to far too many times. I think this could have been avoided by limiting the number of jumps and focusing on past and present only.
  2. Toooooo slow-paced. Mundane and sometimes boring conversations that probably could have been omitted for better effect.
  3. Too long.  I believe, fifty pages could have been left out, written differently, or organized better to help the plot move faster and smoother.
  4. Dull Characters. Too many?  Best parts were stretched too thin?
  5. Narrative wasn’t that effective, provided little more information that good dialogue would have done better.

Atkinson seemed to be out of her element here I think.  Perhaps, it was the whole espionage thing that tripped her up, I don’t know.  It just didn’t seem her best work. I’m not going to give up on her though.

The premise was good; I was drawn to it. Just not her best work.

I gave it:




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