Book Club Questions for The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (2022)

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Book club questions for The Rose Code by Kate Quinn takes a closer look at this historical fiction novel about female codebreakers. There will spoilers so for more context about the book, check out my spoiler-free review first.

I read The Rose Code several days ago and I’m still thinking about this novel! While I thought it was too long, it’s definitely an impactful story. I’m curious if you all thought the story was too lengthy—let me know! But beyond the length, I loved all the historical details about life as a codebreaker. And Osla’s romance with Prince Phillip was entertaining as well.

So in exciting news, The Rose Code will be made into a TV series! I think it will work super well in that format.

The Synopsis

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

(Video) The Rose Code: A Novel by Kate Quinn | Simple Book REVIEW

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…

Book Club Questions for The Rose Code

  • Did you know much about the codebreakers at Bletchley Park prior to reading the novel?
  • Why was working as a codebreaker the right path for Osla, Mab and Beth? What did each woman hope to achieve at Bletchley Park?
  • Could you have worked as a codebreaker back then? Why or why not?
  • We see the trio become good friends but in 1947—they are enemies. Why do you think the author decided to tell the story in the two timelines? Did it impact how you read about the friendship in the early ’40s?
  • Each woman experiences a romance during their time at Bletchley Park. For Osla, it’s a romance with Prince Phillip. Do you think it would have lasted longer if Osla could have told him about her work? Or were they always fated just to be friends?
  • Mab’s romance with Francis is sweet but then tragic. The author spends a lot of time talking about Francis’ PTSD from fighting in WW1—why was it important for the author to include those sections about the harsh realities of war?
  • And Beth begins a relationship with the married Harry. What drew them together?
  • We eventually learn the true nature of the betrayal. Both Francis and Mab’s daughter is tragically killed in a bomb strike. Mab blames Osla for not holding more tightly to her daughter and eventually they all find out that Beth knew that attack would happen. Let’s talk in detail about this betrayal.
  • Beth believes she made the right call because she couldn’t sacrifice her oath. Do you believe she was in the wrong? What would you have done if you were Beth?
  • Throughout the novel, we know there was a traitor at Bletchley Park. Who did you originally think it was? Were you surprised it was Giles?
  • What did you think about the ending?
  • The Rose Code will be made in a TV series. Who do you think should play the main parts? What do you hope is included in the show and also expanded upon?

Additional Recommendations

Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The Rose Code! Here are some more recommendations and links to book club questions.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Book Club Questions for The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (1)Book Club Questions for The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (2)

I think The Alice Network is Kate Quinn’s best work to date!

(Video) April 2022 Book Club Discussion: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

1947.In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Book Club Questions for The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (3)Book Club Questions for The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (4)

For a story that looks at the aftermath of WWII, check out The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner.

(Video) Ep 54 Kate Quinn: THE ROSE CODE

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people―a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others―could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’sThe Jane Austen Societyis destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

(Video) March Book Club: The Rose Code

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here.

Happy reading!

FAQs

Does Beth get a lobotomy in the Rose code? ›

Meanwhile, Beth is scheduled to have a lobotomy performed which happens to be the day after the royal wedding between Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth. Giles Talbot, one of the BP cryptographers and their friend from the book club, comes to see Beth and admits that he was the traitor.

Was the Rose Code made into a movie? ›

Bletchley Park Code Breaker Novel 'The Rose Code' By Kate Quinn Being Adapted For TV By Black Bear Pictures. Exclusive: Black Bear Pictures, the team behind Benedict Cumberbatch feature film The Imitation Game, is heading back to Bletchley Park – this time for the small screen.

What happens to boots in the Rose code? ›

In December, Dilly's team finally breaks through on the day that the United States joins the war. Relieved and exhausted, Beth staggers home with Osla and Mab to find that her mother threw out her dog, Boots, after he urinated on the floor.

Who is Beth based on in the Rose code? ›

"Beth Finch is a fictional composite of two very real women. One is nameless, a codebreaker who supposedly suffered a nervous breakdown after her love affair with a married BP colleague collapsed—the woman was sent to an asylum in fear that she would divulge secret information in her broken state.

Is Beth in the Rose code autistic? ›

For example, even though she clearly is very smart, others often call her “stupid” or “dumb.” In the 1947 portion of the book, Beth is in an asylum. Not because of her autism, and Beth herself states many times that she shouldn't be there.

Is there any truth in the Rose code? ›

The Rose Code is by Kate Quinn. This novel is based on true events and true people. However, some of the characters are made-up or two characters are combined to make one. During World War II, the British had a huge codebreaking complex at Bletchley Park.

Who betrayed Beth in The Rose Code? ›

Giles Talbot, one of the BP cryptographers and their friend from the book club, comes to see Beth and admits that he was the traitor.

Who is dilly in The Rose Code? ›

Dilly was a member of the Room 40 codebreaking unit and he helped decrypt the Zimmermann Telegram which brought the USA into the First World War. Prince Philip, his uncle Dickie Mountbatten and the Prime Minister all make an appearance and the story woven and the insight which results, is quite something.

Is The Rose Code a TV series? ›

What format will it be? Will The Rose Code adaptation be a Movie or a Series? It's planned as an episodic TV series.

Who is MAB's second husband in the Rose code? ›

FIRST NAMELAST NAMEDESCRIPTION
MikeSharpeMab's second husband.
WrenStevensMab's co-worker.
BramStokerIrish novelist and short story writer.
GilesTalbotA Bletchley Park's worker.
132 more rows

Is the Rose code related to the Alice network? ›

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption ...

Is there romance in the Rose code? ›

Each woman experiences a romance during their time at Bletchley Park. For Osla, it's a romance with Prince Phillip.

Who are the real people in The Rose Code? ›

Several real historical figures appear in The Rose Code. I have already mentioned Dilly Knox, but we also briefly meet Alan Turing, Winston Churchill…and Prince Philip, who is romantically involved with Osla before his marriage to Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen).

What is the theme of The Rose Code? ›

Themes and Discussion Possibilities: Thoughtful and discussable themes include friendship, loyalty, betrayal, ambition, guilt over a decision made, secrecy, grief, female solidarity, and forgiveness.

Is MAB churt a real person? ›

Mab is fictional; Beth is a fictional composite of two real women who worked at Bletchley Park; Osla is a lightly fictionalized version of Osla Benning who was a Hut 4 translator and really did date Prince Philip through much of the war.

Who married OSLA? ›

John Henniker-Major

Is Kate Quinn married? ›

Quinn and her husband now live in southern California with three rescue dogs, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox. Praise for The Rose Code: “[An] this immersive saga. [Her] page-turning narrative does not disappoint.”

How long is The Rose Code? ›

The Rose Code is another standout novel with rich historical details and engaging characters. But like The Huntress, I think it's too long. The paperback is 624 pages!

Is The Rose Code clean? ›

Jackie Robinson There's a few sex scenes but none of them are graphic - there are also some f-bombs and other curse words, but they are all said in moments of frustration, so it didn't seem unnecessary. Hope this helps!

What was The Rose Code in WWII? ›

Set in 1940s England at the height of World War II, “The Rose Code” follows three female codebreakers who are recruited for top-secret work at Bletchley Park, the real-life manor estate in Buckinghamshire, England, where the likes of Alan Turing helped crack Nazi codes for the British.

Is there a movie about The Alice Network? ›

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption ...

How old is Charlie St Clair in the Alice network? ›

Charlie St. Claire is a 19-year-old unwed pregnant girl.

When was the Rose code written? ›

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.

When was the Rose code published? ›

Who wrote the Rose code? ›

Kate Quinn is back with another enthralling novel set in 1940's London. The Rose Code centers on three women who were once closer than sisters but have been ripped apart by betrayal and misunderstanding.

Is Diamond Eye Based on a true story? ›

Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.

Is Kate Quinn a good author? ›

We're big fans of author Kate Quinn on Off the Shelf! Her new releases are consistently at the top of our Most Anticipated lists—hello Diamond Eye—and her historical fiction books always shed a fresh light on events of the past. But not many people know that her book-blurbing skills are also A+ material.

What should I read if I liked The Rose Code? ›

The Princess Spy by Larry Loftis

Like Osla in The Rose Code, Aline Griffith came from high society and a monied background. As the U.S. entered WWII, she was a college graduate desperate to do something to help.

Is there a movie code girls? ›

CODEGIRL Feature Film + Extras

Join high school-aged girls from around the world as they try to better their community through technology and collaboration in this thrilling, heartfelt documentary.

Why is it called the Alice network? ›

Eve answered to a remarkable woman named Louise de Bettignies, a historical figure who became known as the queen of spies. The network was called the Alice Network because Louise's code name was Alice. Life was hard for everyone in the network, as it was for French citizens in and around Lille.

Was the Alice network a real thing? ›

By the spring of 1915 the "Alice Network" involved eighty men and women of all social classes. They watched trains, identified the positions of gun batteries, munitions depots and the dwellings of officers, and helped evacuate Allied soldiers to the Netherlands.

How old is Eve in the Alice network? ›

The Alice Network is told from the perspective of two characters in various English and French locations during two distinct time periods. Chapters alternate between the points of view of 19-year-old Charlotte “Charlie” St. Clair and 22-year-old Evelyn “Eve” Gardiner.

What is Kate Quinn's best book? ›

Kate Quinn

How old is Kate Quinn author? ›

What happens to Charlie's baby in the Alice network? ›

Charlie decides to keep her baby, and Eve decides to have an abortion.

Is The Rose Code available in paperback? ›

The Rose Code a Novel Paperback Deckle Edge 2021 by Kate Quinn for sale online | eBay.

Who was the woman who helped crack enigma? ›

Joyce Aylard was stationed at Eastcote in London, where she operated the Bombe machine, designed by codebreaker Alan Turing to crack the Enigma code. Her role was to test different combinations to break the code.

Who were the female code breakers at Bletchley Park? ›

The Wrens performed a vital role operating the computers used for code-breaking, including the Colossus and Bombe machines. Working around the clock in three 8 hour shifts, they were the beating heart of Bletchley Park.
...
Contents
  • 3.1 Mavis Batey.
  • 3.2 Jane Fawcett.
  • 3.3 Jean Valentine.
  • 3.4 Joan Clarke.
  • 3.5 Betty Webb.

Who broke the Enigma code? ›

Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician. Born in London in 1912, he studied at both Cambridge and Princeton universities. He was already working part-time for the British Government's Code and Cypher School before the Second World War broke out.

What happens to Beth in the Rose code? ›

In the end, Beth is free and back together with Harry. She also has an offer to continue working on codebreaking for the government. Mab and her husband are able to have a closer relationship now that they know about each others' pasts.

Who is MAB's second husband in the Rose code? ›

FIRST NAMELAST NAMEDESCRIPTION
MikeSharpeMab's second husband.
WrenStevensMab's co-worker.
BramStokerIrish novelist and short story writer.
GilesTalbotA Bletchley Park's worker.
132 more rows

Who married OSLA? ›

John Henniker-Major

Who is dilly in the Rose code? ›

Dilly was a member of the Room 40 codebreaking unit and he helped decrypt the Zimmermann Telegram which brought the USA into the First World War. Prince Philip, his uncle Dickie Mountbatten and the Prime Minister all make an appearance and the story woven and the insight which results, is quite something.

What is the theme of The Rose Code? ›

Themes and Discussion Possibilities: Thoughtful and discussable themes include friendship, loyalty, betrayal, ambition, guilt over a decision made, secrecy, grief, female solidarity, and forgiveness.

Is MAB churt a real person? ›

Mab is fictional; Beth is a fictional composite of two real women who worked at Bletchley Park; Osla is a lightly fictionalized version of Osla Benning who was a Hut 4 translator and really did date Prince Philip through much of the war.

Who are the characters in The Rose Code? ›

During World War II, three unique yet conscientious women --- Mabel “Mab” Churt, Osla Kendall and Bethan “Beth” Finch --- met while working as codebreakers at Bletchley Park in England. Since they were all sworn to secrecy, they quickly formed not only enduring friendships but also unbreakable bonds.

Is The Rose Code connected to the Alice network? ›

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption ...

Is there romance in The Rose Code? ›

Each woman experiences a romance during their time at Bletchley Park. For Osla, it's a romance with Prince Phillip.

Is the Alice network being made into a movie? ›

Now, before I start get any excited readers hoping, the answer is no–so far Benioff & Weiss have not phoned with an offer to make “The Alice Network” into a star-studded HBO mini-series, nor has anyone else, so this movie cast is strictly fantasy.

When was The Rose Code written? ›

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.

How many pages is Rose code? ›

The Rose Code is another standout novel with rich historical details and engaging characters. But like The Huntress, I think it's too long. The paperback is 624 pages!

Videos

1. 📚 The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (book club series)
(Somewhere in Indiana)
2. KATE QUINN DISCUSSING CREATION OF THE ROSE CODE - SEASON 3 EPISODE PROMO ON ABOUT THE AUTHORS TV
(About the Authors TV)
3. Between The Covers Interview with Kate Quinn
(South Florida PBS)
4. Kate Quinn w/Kristina McMorris discussing THE ROSE CODE in celebration of INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY!
(Warwick's Books)
5. Club Book with Kate Quinn
(Club Book)
6. Interview with Kate Quinn | Between The Covers
(South Florida PBS)

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