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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

"Atkinson never fails to take us beyond an individual's circumstances to the achingly human, often-contradictory impulses within. And, as all of Atkinson's readers know, she is an exquisite writer of prose, using language with startling precision whether she is plumbing an inner life, describing events of appalling violence or displaying her characters' wonderfully acerbic wit. Evoking such different but equally memorable works as Graham Greene's The Human Factor (1978) and Margaret Drabble's The Middle Ground (1980), this is a wonderful novel about making choices, failing to make them and living, with some degree of grace, the lives our choices determine for us." (Booklist)

"There is intrigue. There are surprises. But the unknowns aren't always what we think they are. The deepest pleasure here, though, is the author's language. As ever, Atkinson is sharp, precise and funny." (Kirkus

"[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)

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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.