29th November, 2018

REVIEW: Transcription by KAte Atkinson

I can’t deny that I‘ve been a fan of Atkinson‘s work for ages. I started out with her early novels, fell in love with the Jackson Brodie series and liked her last two books alright. Transcription, however, I absolutely fell in love with. For me, it‘s like the Atkinson of old as this novel reminds me a lot of the early books. Come to think of it, you could say it‘s kind of a mixture of these novels and the later WW2 stories, skilfully merging the topic of the latter with the poetic prose of the first.

So what is is about? -- In 1940 and without really meaning to, young Juliet Armstrong is recruited as a spy for the British secret service and dispatched to an MI5 flat in order to monitor the movements of British Fascist sympathizers. After the end of the war, she assumes to leave these years behind forever. However, oftentimes assumptions are just that. Ten years onwards, Juliet is working as a radio producer for the BBCand unexpectedly confronted by people from her past. Things become rather mysterious and Juliet soon realises that your own history can never be quite forgotten. 

Transcription is deep while also funny at times. It is witty, has a cast of ambivalent characters and stuck with me for quite a while. In fact, it was one of those rare cases where I felt like rereading the book immediately upon finishing the last page.

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