I’m honestly a little impressed that Atkinson managed to take a novel about World War II and Cold War espionage and make it downright forgettable. It’s one of those nested novels, taking place in three distinct time periods and each one flashing back to the other. If you’re anything like me, you’ll soon lose the ability to tell the various characters apart.
Also, thanks so much all y’all for the congratulations :) I’m still firmly ensconced in cloud nine and I’m afraid my reading and reviewing is suffering for it. I’ve got five books in my library queue and three weeks to read them, so hopefully I can send down a basket and get them up here with me.
Anyway. One thing about reading Kindle books is that I often don’t really know how long they are, I just know how long they FEEL and oh boy did this one feel like. Like 4 3 2 1 long. Juliet Armstrong is fresh out of school and off her mother’s death when she is recruited by MI5 and enters what amounts to the tedious work of espionage. She’s on a project with a man posing as an English agent of the Third Reich and transcribing his meetings with fellow sympathizers (the idea being that if they’re telling him, they’re not actually getting anything done).
And “not getting anything done” is also a surprisingly accurate synopsis for this book. At one point, Juliet herself is brought on board as a spy and the novel has brief aspirations of interest, but for the most part it’s just dull. On to the next one, I suppose.