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Publisher's Summary

A dramatic story of WWII espionage, betrayal, and loyalty, by the number one best-selling author of Life After Life. 

In 1940, 18-year-old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.  

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.  

Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.  

©2018 Kate Atkinson (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Atkinson never fails to take us beyond an individual's circumstances to the achingly human, often-contradictory impulses within. And, as all of Atkinson's readers know, she is an exquisite writer of prose, using language with startling precision whether she is plumbing an inner life, describing events of appalling violence, or displaying her characters' wonderfully acerbic wit. Evoking such different but equally memorable works as Graham Greene's The Human Factor (1978) and Margaret Drabble's The Middle Ground (1980), this is a wonderful novel about making choices, failing to make them, and living, with some degree of grace, the lives our choices determine for us." (Booklist, starred review)

"There is intrigue. There are surprises. But the unknowns aren't always what we think they are. The deepest pleasure here, though, is the author's language. As ever, Atkinson is sharp, precise, and funny.... Another beautifully crafted book from an author of great intelligence and empathy." (Kirkus, starred review)

"If you loved Atkinson's Life After Life, you're in luck. If you're one of the, say, five people who didn't read it: You're still in luck - Atkinson is a master at the top of her game. A quiet, moving portrait of a guy navigating life's small pleasures and painful failures." (Marie Claire)

"Fenella Woolgar's masterful narration transforms Juliet Armstrong into a friend who is confiding a lifetime of secrets.... Woolgar's interpretations of Juliet's wry asides and commentary, peppered throughout the text, are hilarious, and she convincingly portrays a broad cast of characters, from plucky Cockney-accented errand boys to elderly women conspiratorially sharing their shocking views. Woolgar's melodious voice and dry wit carry listeners through the decades as Juliet's secrets race to catch up with her." (AudioFile)

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