Title: Secrets We Kept, The
Authors: Prescott, Lara
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 452
Year: 2019
Language: English
Description: A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of sacrifice - inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak's magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world - using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally's tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story - the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago's heroine, Lara - with a narrative about two women empowered to lead lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk. From Pasternak's country estate outside Moscow to the brutalities of the Gulag, from Washington, D.C. to Paris and Milan, The Secrets We Kept captures a watershed moment in the history of literature - told with soaring emotional intensity and captivating historical detail. And at the center of this unforgettable debut is the powerful belief that a piece of art can change the world. [Taken from book blurb, Penguin Random House]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"It is a story that engages the reader quickly and retains the engagement to the end."

"An easy read. Doctor Zhivago - great subject to read about."

"The writing style was divided into three parts and was well done."

"I thought there was just a tad too much detail at times."

"I felt compulsed to get 'Dr Zhivago' out of the library and read it once I'd finished the novel - and I saw the film!"

"The description of the settings and language makes it feel very authentic."

"Fast-paced and well-written, the story develops and unfolds alternatively between East and West."

"I found it so interesting - but the beginning of the book is a little confusing because of the number of characters."
Categories: Fiction, Big Read, Grief/loss, Historical, Love story, Political, Relationships, Russia, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon


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