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This book had great potential but was limited by the scope set out by the publisher and the approach chosen by the author.
First, in order to be included in the story the women had to be alive. This created a beat the clock feeling because many of the women interviewed were well into their 90's. This was done to enable the reader to hear the stories directly from the women--not second hand--strengthening the "human interest" angle. In the end an unusual choice and very limiting because it really narrowed the playing field to women who were very young--first time away from home "girls"--during their time at Bletchley. A broader subset of the population may have been more representative of the whole story and the actual population of Bletchley Park.
Further, the author's approach of presenting the 15 women as a group rather than individually in their own chapters caused me the biggest problem. I liked the idea of telling the history, background and personal experience of each of the 15 women interviewed. In theory this offered a picture of the culture and state of the world leading up to the war. In reality the choice to cover the women as a group--related only by topic--was a huge problem. There was just too much jumping around from person to person. To me, it would have been better if each woman was introduced separately in their own chapter. That way the reader would have had a chance to get to know the women--putting a history firmly with a name. As it stands, the whole thing was a jumble. It was just impossible for me to keep the names and the stories straight and to feel any connection to the individual women presented.
Over all this was a frustrating, disjointed and confusing book which misses the mark and becomes a muddle. Disappointing if you are looking for a human face and a broad approach to the story of Bletchley Park.
30 of 35 people found this review helpful
boring not a good listen very slow and reader is enough to put you to sleep
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
So boring not what I expected. There was no plot to the storyline. A waste of money.
Awful narration. Narrator tried to do accents which is very off putting. so much so I binned the book after one chapter. Waste of a monthly credit. Avoid.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
With the content and research it should have been an interesting listen. However the writer was so intent on forcing her point that women were underrated, undervalued and underestimated that the actual story gets blurred behind a kind of women's rights push. A women myself, I fully understand and appreciate the importance of the role women played in the way but don't like to feel that I'm being indoctrinated.
Fascinating detail of the Bletchley Girls' roles. Not all were stationed at BP; some had never heard it mentioned, but all played a role and kept it secret until the first book was published in 1974.