Transcription bounces from 1940 to 1950 and focuses on Juliet Armstrong’s role in both decades. Juliet is a smart, sassy, resourceful young woman who in 1940 works for M15 in London. Her job is to secretly transcribe conversations occurring in the next room-conversations between and M15 spy and a handful of Nazi sympathizers. Ten years later, Juliet is the producer of a children’s program on the BBC. Her life seems dreary and dull until she meets someone she worked closely with in the 1940’s who refuses to recognize her now.
Transcription has many supporting characters, and at times it is confusing. However, as I came toward the conclusion of the novel, I felt Atkinson wanted me to feel perplexed. Transcription is humorous, frightening and irritating. Juliet Armstrong is a fine character who deserves a better story.