Kate Atkinson is one of my favorite authors. I voted Life After Life a winner a few years ago. Now with Transcription she’s created a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit, and empathy. (cover blurb)
Back and forth between 1940 and 1950, we follow Juliet Armstrong – eighteen years old and recruited into espionage by a department of MI5. She’s typing transcriptions (secretly) in a house where folks with Nazi and fascist leanings come to report and plan for an overthrow. Her work is tedious and terrifying. Flash forward to 1950 and Julia is a radio producer for the BBC. However, her time spent with MI5 is coming back to haunt her. She’s under threat, running into past “spies”, and questioning her past.
P.271 A small shift in the air. The faintest rustle – a bird settling in a nest. Breathing. A sigh. She could just make out the silhouette of someone sitting at the table.
Stealthily, Juliet retrieved the Mauser from her bag and advanced cautiously. It seemed impossible. And yet.
The person who had the greatest claim on her soul. A sudden terror made her heart spasm.
Twists and turns. Tight writing. Rich characters. Kate Atkinson draws you in, turns you around, and has you looking over your shoulder. Transcription is a jolly good read!