#whatbeckyread Transcription- Kate Atkinson

Rebecca holding Kate Atkinson's Transcription book

I loved Life after Life and A God in Ruins so when Transcription came out it ticked all of the boxes a spy novel set in World War Two!

The story is about Juliet an 18 year old orphan who was working as a transcriptionist for MI5 until she gets recruited in an operation to transcribe for a group of low level Nazi sympathisers. These sympathiser’s report to Godfrey Toby believing he is a secret spy for the Gestapo but he actually works for MI5. The sympathiser’s are based in a flat that has walls bugged with microphones and Juliet is next door transcribing. Perry Gibbons who runs the operation recruits Juliet to the operation (code name Iris Carter-Jenkins) to help get this red book from Mrs Scaife who is another Nazi sympathiser, which is thought to contain names of influential nazi sympathisers. Juliet gets into a relationship with Perry and he proposes to her, she never properly accepts the engagement but goes along with it. Not realising that Perry is in fact gay.

Years later in 1950, Juliet is working at the BBC as a producer in the schools department. She is single as the relationship with Perry quickly fizzled out, although has had relationships since. Juliet gets a mysterious note delivered to her at the BBC that states that she will never pay for what she has done. Due to this Juliet becomes paranoid and thinks someone is out to kill her…

The book was ok but certainly not a favourite of mine. This was due to finding the plot of the book hard to follow, jumping around between the 1940’s and 1950’s I just didn’t know where I was coming or going. I found Juliet, the main character of the book to be really likeable, and I felt that her character developed really well. But all the other characters, well I didn’t feel that I got to know them (maybe that was the point) ultimately for me the book fell flat.


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