Monday, 19 September 2016
The Code Girls by Daisy Styles
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It's 1941 and the country has been turned upside down. For the aristocratic Walsingham family this means being pushed unceremoniously upstairs while their grand home is taken over by the Army. But for newcomers Ava and Maudie this is a chance to get something more from life. They are at Walsingham Hall to become code girls and break German encryptions.
So being sent downstairs to work in the kitchens isn't exactly what they had in mind. But they do their duty, make new friends and soon even romance looks to be on the horizon. Though life is tough, it has never been more exciting.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Lord Walsingham is hiding something. And Maudie and the girls realize that the safety of their country might actually be in their hands after all…
The story is built around four girls that meet through co-incidences of wartime Brittan. Ava and Maudie think that they have been called to train as Code Girls, but end up below the stairs to cook and serve the code girls instead. They immediately bond with Ruby, who has been born into service through generations of servants at the Walsingham Hall. And then there is Bella, born into the Walsingham family, but always shunned, who follows her dream in to the war service and ends up helping the girls below stairs in her spare time.
Like many others I thought the title is misleading. I don’t always read the blurb on the back of the book; therefore my expectations were of a novel covering the life of the actual code girls. However as the story progresses you find that the title actually fits, but it takes nearly two thirds of the book to get to that point.
The novel has some great story lines, covering most years of the Second World War, but I didn’t feel that the flow was there. I found the love stories of all four girls unrealistic and the girls themselves annoyed me at times which made the whole book seem a bit simple to me. I am still giving it 3 stars as it was an easy, enjoyable read, something to relax with on holiday perhaps and it did cover some interesting information from the wartime, although do not expect historical accuracy.
Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for access to this book in return for an honest interview.
My rating: 3/5
Published by Penguin and available from: