Before I tell you all about The Rose Code, I want to start by saying that I’m not a fan of historical fiction. History was my least favourite subject in school, and I tend to snooze when anyone starts talking about the past.
I generally choose NOT to read anything historical, because I struggle to stay focused. I’m going to go ahead and say this is something to do with the whole left-brain, right-brain thing, even though I have no idea.
That aside, I absolutely loved The Rose Code. Kate Quinn grabbed my attention from the start, and I was able to focus through all 624 pages. I think there were maybe two times when I started to lose interest, but that can be said about pretty much every book.
Using Time to Tell The Rose Code Story
In a nutshell, The Rose Code is about three different women (Osla, Mab, and Beth), with very different backgrounds, who come together to break German military codes for England during the war in 1940.
The book jumps back and forth between the war, and post war (1947), where one of the women is locked in an asylum for betraying her country.
Not only does Kate Quinn jump through time (granted, only 7 years, but still), she also tells the story from three different perspectives. This is no easy feat.
There were moments that I loved each of these characters, and other moments when I hated them, but I couldn’t put the book down.
Osla is a wealthy debutant, who has been educated in various places around the world. Her relationship with Prince Phillip, which we know will end up in heartbreak, is difficult to endure.
You want her to end up with him, even though you know it doesn’t happen. This is like watching The Titanic, you don’t want the ship to sink, but you know it will. It’s painful.
Mab is a fighter. She’s from a poor family, born and raised in East End London poverty. Circumstances that you learn about throughout the novel, make her the person she is, and the person she is striving to become. She’s smart.
My favourite part about Mab, is her determination… and how well read she is. It’s amazing what you can learn from a good book.
Beth is a genius with major social issues. Part of this is due to the way she was raised. Her mother is awful, and at no point in the book does your opinion change. You hate her from the start to the very end.
This is Beth’s redeeming character trait. You can’t fault her for her mother’s treatment, or her lack of social etiquette, knowing where she comes from. She probably has autism or Asperger’s but given it’s the 40s, this isn’t spelled out.
She’s not the most likeable character, but cut her some slack. What she’s able to do for the country is incredible.
I felt so much emotion while reading The Rose Code.
I hated what these women had to go through, simply for being women. I loved how they were able to surpass any challenge thrown at them. I hated how they fell apart. I loved how they came together despite it all. I hated Beth’s mother. I loved Beth’s dog. I hated being left in the dark on key elements of the story… while simultaneously loved being shocked by the twists and turns.
Kudos Kate Quinn. Thank you for taking me on this roller coaster ride.
If you’ve read The Rose Code, I’d love to hear your opinion in the Girl and a Book Facebook group!