Set in Britain in the early years of World War II The Bletchley Girls from Anna Stuart is a captivating read based on a true story. Anna Stuart tells the story of three young women whose lives are changed by the choice they all made; to join a newly formed organization located at Bletchley Park that was very secretive; so much so they were all unsure of exactly what they were going to do once they got there.
Steffie a socialite, engaged to handsome Italian Matteo, Alisa, already a WRAN and very unsure of herself and Fran, full of confidence but out to prove she can make something of herself that does not follow the family footsteps of medicine, all meet up on the Bletchley Station; all with the same instructions, all wondering just what lay in store.
Each of the girls has a special skill required for the establishment of this relatively new, secretive and secret operation. Steffie has a skill for languages which she has honed in a life on the Continent, Fran is a skilled logistics genius, a skill set which eventually becomes invaluable to the War effort, and Ailsa has a knack with radio learned on her tiny island home of North Uist. She can pick up a whisper on the wind with her keen hearing and nimble fingers.
Given directions to the Manor by the stationmaster, the three set off on what was to become one of the most fascinating, revealing and challenged careers that saw them face incredible danger as each one contributed their skills to the War effort.
As the long years of War drag relentlessly along, the Bletchley Park team have a critical part to play in the War effort as they pick up and code break intelligence from the Enemy. Eventually Steffie is posted to Cairo and Ailsa is sent to Malta, while Fran is faced with what appears to be a budding romance with French recruit Valerie, and a frightening sense of emotion.
Love, heartbreak and a wonderful sense of close friendship binds the three friends together as they not only face their worst fears, but each one falls deeply in love during a time when all things in life could be and often were ephemeral.
Beautifully told The Bletchley Girls skillfully portrays War time Britain, bringing a time long past alive once again, while paying tribute to the many men and women who gave countless hours of their lives, living with immense secrets, carrying out work that was essential to help and contribute to the War effort.
With The Bletchley Girls Anna Stuart could be considered to be at the pinnacle of her genre of Historic Fiction. An exceptional story.