A Portrait of Loyalty is the third in Roseanna M. White’s Codebreakers series which takes place during WWI.
Lily Blackwell inherited her mother’s artistic eye, but her medium is photography rather than paint. Skilled in retouching as well as taking pictures, Lily’s father recruits her into the government’s propaganda department. But they keep her involvement a secret from Lily’s mother, who doesn’t approve of art being used that way.
Zivon Marin’s outspokenness against Lenin led to his fiance’s murder and his having to flee Russia. He had been second in command in Russia’s cryptography department and now offers his services to England. Though England accepts his offer, not everyone in the department is sure they can trust him—especially when compromising pictures begin mysteriously showing up.
When Zivon and Lily meet, neither can be completely forthcoming. So how can they ever truly know and trust each other?
And as WWI seems to be winding to a close, another threat looms: the Spanish flu, known at first as the three-day fever.
A few favorite quotes:
The world may still look dark, but if photography had taught her anything, it was that there was always more light to be found. Sometimes you just needed to change your lens. And sometimes you need a flash. Neither ever changed what was really there… but it showed it in a new way.
We must be still – not our hands and feet, but our minds. And know that He is God. That He has not changed. That the same Lord who loved us when all is well loves us still when all is lost. His promises are as true today as they were yesterday. He has been enough to see people through the worst since the dawn of time. We must trust that His love is enough to see us through now.
She had a feeling he was like a matryoshka doll too–a placid exterior that hid layers of secrets and mysteries. And she couldn’t help but wonder what lay beneath this carefully crafted shell.
Once again, Roseanna has woven together an intriguing story with a lot of depth and layers. The only problem with listening to the audiobook raher than reading is that the audiobook doesn’t include the author’s end notes explaining where she got her inspiration and what parts of the story were based on true happenings.
Although I think any of the books in the series could be read alone, I really enjoyed reading/listening to them straight through. The Codebreakers series continues the timeline and some of the characters of the Shadows Over England series.
Shadows Over England: