Author: Margaret Dickinson
Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jun. 15, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 8.5/10
In Secrets at Bletchley Park by Margaret Dickinson, two young women from very different backgrounds meet in the Second World War and are plunged into a life where security and discretion are paramount. But both have secrets of their own to hide.
In 1929, life for ten-year-old Mattie Price, born and raised in the back streets of Sheffield, is tough. With a petty thief for a father and a mother who turns to the bottle to cope with her husband”s brutish ways, it is left to the young girl and her brother, Joe, to feed and care for their three younger siblings. But Mattie has others rooting for her too. The Spencer family, who live at the top of the same street, and Mattie”s teachers recognize that the girl is clever beyond her years and they, and Joe, are determined that she shall have the opportunity in life she deserves.
Victoria Hamilton, living in the opulence of London”s Kensington, has all the material possessions that a young girl could want. But her mother, Grace, a widow from the Great War, is cold and distant, making no secret of the fact that she never wanted a child. Grace lives her life in the social whirl of upper-class society, leaving Victoria in the care of her governess and the servants. At eleven years old, Victoria is sent to boarding school where, for the first time in her young life, she is able to make friends of her own age. Mattie and Victoria are both set on a path that will bring them together at Bletchley Park in May 1940. An unlikely friendship between the two young women is born and together they will face the rest of the war keeping the nation”s secrets and helping to win the fight. They can tell no one, not even their families, about their work or even where they are. But keeping secrets is second nature to both of them.
Captivating, sentimental, and cosy!
Secrets at Bletchley Park is a heartwarming, uplifting tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters who come from completely different backgrounds but whose shared work at Bletchley Park during WWII makes them the unlikeliest but best of friends. Victoria Hamilton, a young girl who has all the things money can buy but lacks the love she so desperately desires, and Mattie Price, a girl from an impoverished, broken background who blossoms under the support and kindness of those who surround her.
The writing is sweet and tender. The characters are intelligent, helpful, and kind. And the plot is an engaging tale of life, loss, love, family, secrets, heartbreak, community, romance, and the power of friendship.
Overall, Secrets at Bletchley Park is a charming, compelling, nostalgic tale by Dickinson that I think is a lovely choice for anyone looking to be swept away into a heartfelt storyline with rich characterization.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.