Chat Sach’s Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ /5

[Spoiler’s Alert]

The book is so long I can’t believe I had managed to finish it. It could have been 200 pages shorter. The characters, as you can see, with over 650 pages, were well developed. However much I tried, I couldn’t like any of them.

Beth – The weak link of the three. Grew up in a hostile family situation, weak dad, crazy controlling mom. Meant to be at home but turn out she’s good at crosswords so here she is, the best decoder at Bletchley. Okay to force info out of friends for you hoes but refused to leak to save friends’ daughter and fiancé. Honestly, even though it didn’t mean for that she deserved to be locked in that asylum for the shitty way she treated her friends.

Queen Mab – Of all the three girls, this character is the most real to me. Her story is so sad. It’s like all the bad things that could have happened to a woman happened to her. Sexual assaults, hidden pregnancy, lost daughter and fiancé before the wedding. Might as well give her the traitor to be her finance instead of Osla. But I suppose she deserve a happy ending with Mike and their twins.

Osla Kendall – Honestly, I don’t see the necessity of this character. She was based on a real-life wartime girl friend of Prince Phillip. In real life, they never talked much about her, including herself. Her character in this book doesn’t really do much except being Prince Phillip’s pen pal. Stop corresponding in fear of unfounded accusation, then had the nerve to scream at him for falling for the future Queen. There was just no point of this character in the whole story line. Giles could have been a standalone character on his own. The tension between Beth and Mab would have been much more interesting. Perhaps the author just want to piece in some fictionalized historical figure with the real ones to make the story seems more real.

The only character I really love – Mr. Francis Gray. A man with little words but full of actions. With little words as in he doesn’t talk about himself much, but when he write to Mab, it’s all pouring out. A forgiving man and loving man.

Mab didn’t know what to make of such letters. How could a man who talked like his vocabulary was as rationed as his meat be so verbose in print? Not just verbose, but funny, wry, moody, tender… yet she wasn’t sure she understood him any better. Nothing he wrote ever touched on himself, but an enveloped still winged from London nearly every other day. What was she supposed to write back? That the new billet was very nice, that the new landlady was very nice, that the weather was very nice? She couldn’t say anything about her work and didn’t have her husband’s knack for spinning pages about daily trifles. Trying to carry on a conversation with Francis seemed destined to be one-sided, but whereas he was the silent one in person, by letter, she felt like the mute.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

I supposed the writing was good, the dialogues were good, which is how it had kept me reading. Some good researches going into the story, I will give her credit for that. But I just hope there was more code breaking, rather than girls’ sap stories.

Photo Credit: Better Reading

The Rose Code
624 pages, Paperback
First published March 9, 2021