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A Novel
Written by: Kate Atkinson
Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
4 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Life After Life, a new novel that explores the repercussions of one young woman's espionage work during World War II.

Juliet Armstrong is a dissatisfied radio producer in a 1950s London that is recovering from the war as much as she is. During World War Two, Juliet was conscripted into service, transcribing conversations between an MI5 agent and a ring of suspected German sympathizers. The seemingly dull work quickly plunged Juliet into a treacherous world of code words and secret meetings where Juliet herself was sent into the field. These moments of intrigue and romance feel like a lifetime ago as Juliet trudges through her commute, her job, and her new life. But as Juliet and the rest of London find ways to return to normal, her routine is upended by an encounter with a mysterious man from her past life.

Haunted by the relationships and actions of her past and facing a very real threat in the present, Juliet cannot escape the repercussions of her work for the government. With no other choice, Juliet is quickly pulled back into the life of espionage she thought she'd left behind. Kate Atkinson's latest novel brings mid-century London to life in a gripping tale of deception and consequences.

©2016 Kate Atkinson (P)2018 Bond Street Books

What the critics say

"[A] superb story of wartime espionage.... Hilary Mantel once said of Atkinson's ground-breaking first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, that she had a 'game-plan more sophisticated than Dickens,' and that skill is more than evident in this latest offering.... Remarkable.... The sheer bravura of Atkinson's storytelling is such that you will find it impossible not to want to revisit those clues so cleverly placed, as you shake your head in disbelief at how effortlessly you have been taken in." (The Times Literary Supplement)  

"[Transcription] never loses its sense of absurdity of human beings even in their most tragic or noble moments.... How vehemently most novelists will wish to produce a masterpiece as good." (The Daily Telegraph, UK)   

"[Transcription] is a major event.... Atkinson loves her research, but she doesn't need much help concocting original stories that resemble no one else's and take the breath away." (The New York Times

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent

I absolutely loved this book: Kate Atkinson never disappoints, and the narration was superb. I only wish it had lasted much longer! Highly recommend.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jane Austen meets John le Carré. Austen wins

My favourite book of the past year. There's so much going on, and it's all good. It's a spy novel mixed into a novel of manners and filtered through a sharp-witted feminist sensibility. And it's funny too.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Art Cameron
  • 2019-02-01

Action missing

The story was slow and, at times, rambling. Performance was good but fell asleep several times with the pace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful