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The Number of Love (2019)

by Roseanna M. White

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Codebreakers (1)

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8726248,669 (4.58)8
Three years into the Great War, England's greatest asset is their intelligence network--field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren't enough. Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won't give up. He's smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life's answers lie in the heart? Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I suspect there was a good story buried in this but listening to it in audiobook form, erratically, I couldn't follow it or get into it. ( )
  Okies | Oct 13, 2021 |
The audiobook caught my eye when I was looking through the library catalogue. In 1917, a Belgium teenager Margot De Wilde is working in London for Room 40 as a codebreaker when she meets the Elton siblings. Drake Elton, ostensibly in the navy, has spent most of the war undercover in Spain; his sister Dot is starting a new job as a secretary for Room 40.

I was surprised to realise that this was Christian fiction. The main characters are all practising Catholics of European background who are working for British intelligence, so in some respects they’re not a very diverse bunch, yet I liked how accepting both the narrative and the characters themselves are of people’s unusual quirks. Most notably, Margot, who is brillant with numbers, is determined to pursue a career in academia and is disinterested in conforming various social conventions, while Drake’s sister Dot struggles with leaving the house and has much more domestic goals for her future.

I also liked that, while they share the same beliefs, the relationship they each have with prayer and with God is very personal and therefore looks different for each of them. And all their conclusions or pronouncements on issues of faith felt in keeping with the characters’ personalities and circumstances.

A few quibbles aside -- such as the first part having less codebreaking than I was expecting -- I ended up enjoying this a lot. I’m curious about the author’s other books, since the library has quite a few of them.

The book wins points for a cover that near-exactly matches a scene described in the book, and loses points for using the word “airplane” -- I don’t actually, maybe it was sometimes used in Britain in WWI, when aeroplanes were still comparatively new, but the word makes me cringe. ( )
  Herenya | Feb 18, 2021 |
The Number of Love is the first book in The Codebreakers series, an historical romance set during WWI. That is its first recommendation — a time period I do not often read in. Historical detail is key. I found the information on the war fascinating, especially the work of spies and analysts ferreting out information on the other side. Characters are well-developed and are very likable. They also do not fit into stereotypes — main character Margot is very unconventional for her time in that she is a woman of reason and mathematics, not relying on feelings, but on logic. Drake, a great hero, is more about the emotional side of things. The juxtaposition of their personalities from the norm is wonderful. As I said spies play a big part in the novel, and the suspense kept me listening (I downloaded the audiobook) and on the edge of my seat. The faith message is very strong. I loved that the author had the characters examine not just the why of their experiences, but also for what purpose. And the way God communicates with Margot is an excellent portrayal of how He gifts us and uses us.

All 3 books in The Codebreakers series are now available — I cannot wait to get back to London during WWI. And some of the secondary characters have a series all their own! The 3 books in the Shadows Over England series are also all available. I have the promise of some great reading ahead of me.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Nov 4, 2020 |
As usual, Ms. White has done an excellent job! The characters, the setting, the plot, the romance, the mystery, the intrigue, the history that inspired it all—each aspect is expertly handled. Every time, I read one of Ms. White’s books, I am amazed at just how well she writes, how well everything flows, how quickly and easily I’m drawn into the story and into the characters. There’s not a thing that feels unfinished by the end of the book. Everything is well developed and fits together. I may start out, as I did with Margot, loving her one instant and not so sure about her the next, but by the end, I have come to understand her better and love her all the more because of the vulnerability Ms. White shows in her characters.

And boy, did Ms. White introduce some wonderfully intriguing characters in this book! The same number of characters mentioned in another book by a less skillful author might be too much and too hard to follow, but not so with Ms. White. Each character is smoothly introduced and developed in such a way that gives them a distinctiveness that helps settle each of them uniquely into their place in the story. They feel like real people, not just characters on a page . . . even to the point, that I could not help but hope for a redemptive ending for the villain of the story.

I loved both of the main characters (even though I might have spent some time a bit frustrated with one of them 🙂 ) and the development of their friendship and relationship. Margot’s struggle to let herself see and feel beyond the logical was real. I loved the unique way that the Lord spoke to her heart showing the depth of both His knowledge of her and His love for her. Drake’s patience and his ability to read people and help them get to the heart of the matter made him a wonderful match for Margot. Ms. White demonstrates, through Drake’s love for Margo, the beauty of a love that is patient, that waits, that knows intimately enough to see the heart behind someone, that gives what is space needed, that steps back when asked, that is willing to selflessly adjust its method of showing love to accommodate how another receives love.

The new supporting characters introduced have most definitely captured my attention, if not my heart. I enjoyed their side stories and I am more than ready to read about any of them who might be featured in the future books of this series. I also adored the cameo appearances of characters I came to love in Ms. White’s Shadows Over England series. They perfectly rounded out the book and satisfied my “epilogue” loving heart!

The mystery captured my mind and most definitely kept me engaged throughout the book. And I loved the spiritual journeys of the characters as they were faced with walking out their faith when it was no longer as easy as it once was for them, as they had to come to terms with grief in their lives while figuring out how to still trust the Lord.

As it is with all of Ms. White’s books I’ve read, I could go on and on about the things I love about The Number of Love, but I will leave off here before I reveal too much. There is so much both to love and contemplate in this book! If you’re looking for a book with depth and hope and characters that feel more like friends by the end, The Number of Love is a must read!

**I received a complimentary copy The Number of Love from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. ( )
  Julie_Jobe | Jul 8, 2019 |
I loved this book! The characters are wonderful, it is well written, I learned about WWI, and it has suspense and romance. What isn't there to love?

Margot is a woman of numbers. I can't imagine what it would be like to have numbers constantly running through your mind. It makes her a perfect code breaker. Everyday she works on breaking the code on intercepted German intelligence. She is a loner and keeps up emotional walls. It is hard for someone to get inside and when they do, they become someone she treasures. An example is Dot. Dot has her own issues that make it hard to navigate in society. She is an anxious person who has a hard time going outside of her front door. The women understand each other and are amazing friends.

Dot has a handsome brother, Drake, who is a spy. He is working in Spain against the Germans. I loved his adventures. When he is injured and returns home to recover, he and Margot make a formidable team.

This book kept me fascinated from cover to cover. As I stated above, I loved everything about it. I look forward to reading more from this series. This book is Christian fiction, contains non-graphic violence, and sweet romance. ( )
  Bookworm_Lisa | Jul 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roseanna M. Whiteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lyons, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To David, who always knows the question to ask to make me see my own heart and who never lets me get away with the easy answer.
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The numbers marched across the page in a glory all their own.
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Three years into the Great War, England's greatest asset is their intelligence network--field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren't enough. Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won't give up. He's smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life's answers lie in the heart? Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

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