The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake

Happy publication day to The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake. Thank you to One More Chapter for the opportunity to read and review a digital proof copy via NetGalley. I’m sharing a mini review today.

Synopsis:

In the war against Hitler every secret counts…

Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards is a skilled interrogator – her beauty making her a non-threat in the eyes of the prisoners.

Farm girl Betty Connors may not be able to type as she claimed, but her crack analytical skills soon find her unearthing covert connections.

German ex-pat Judith Stern never expected to find herself listening in to German POW’s whispered conversations, but the Nazis took her father from her so she will do whatever it takes to help the Allies end this war.

Billeted together in the attic of Latimer House – a place where secrets abound – Evelyn, Betty and Judith soon form a bond of friendship that carries them through the war. Because nothing is stronger than women united.

Tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House, a grand country estate, stands proudly – a witness to some of greatest secrets of WW2.

Used by the SOE to hold Nazi prisoners of war, this stunning historical novel is inspired by the untold story of the secret listeners of ‘M Room’ who worked day and night to help the Allies win the war. A must-read for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Fiona Valpy, Elaine Everest, Jean Fullerton and Deborah Burrowes

My thoughts:

This is a fictional story about three young women from different backgrounds who meet when they start working for the Armed Forces intelligence service at Latimer House. I enjoyed reading about how hearing the true story of how Latimer House staff helped during the war, inspired Jules Wake to write this book.

As the story develops, the three young women start to deal with their past lives, the present day and to start thinking about what may be in their futures. The war has changed their lives and plans, taking away family and friends, but also giving them different opportunities including their new friendship.

I’ve read other books about the work done by women in the Armed Forces during World War 2, including the recent The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, set in the now famous Bletchley Park, but wasn’t aware of Latimer House, where high ranking enemy POW’s would be interviewed and listened to in their cells.

I loved the way Jules Wake has shared the stories of Betty, Evelyn and Judith, looking at each one in turn as they deal with new jobs, the Official Secrets Act, and their own secrets, hopes and fears.

This is a powerful reminder about how important the role of all the staff who dealt with spying on the enemy were, and how something quite minor could save the lives of thousands of people. Judith was my favourite character, as she started to find her identity and to trust other people.

Happy to recommend this book, it recognises the importance of women in the workforce, the power of friendship and why we can all contribute our different strengths and skills, irrespective of our place of birth.

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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