Big Sky – Kate Atkinson

Big Sky - Kate Atkinson
Big Sky – Kate Atkinson

Jackson Brodie is back, and back in the north east. A 21st century tale of young women being lured to the UK with the promise of a good job, and being forced into prostitution.

It is the world we live in, but choose not to see.

But it’s not all hard reading. Big Sky also shows us choices that some women can make, and the choices men make in response.

Author page: Big Sky – Kate Atkinson

Transcription – Kate Atkinson

Transcription - Kate Atkinson
Transcription – Kate Atkinson

There’s a note at the end of Transcription where Kate Atkinson reveals the twin inspirations for the novel – a set of World War II transcripts of recordings made of bugged premises, classified at the time but recently released by the National Archives, and Eric Roberts, a bank clerk at the Westminster Bank (Is there anything more boring?) who posed as a Gestapo agent during WW2 when he worked for MI5 as a spy (Is there anything more exciting?).

Transcription blends and fictionalises these two sets of facts, and revolves around (and reveals) the life of the young woman who typed the up the transcripts. And so we follow Juliet Armstrong from when she leaves school on the death of her mother, to her recruitment to work for MI5 as a typist, to living and loving in London during the war, into the 1950s and finally, briefly, to her life afterwards.

Smashing, as always.

Author page: Transcription – Kate Atkinson

Penguin (Publisher) Article: Kate Atkinson on Transcription – Kate Atkinson tells Sarah Shaffi how the curious case of ‘perfect spy’ Jack King inspired her book, Transcription.