The secrets we kept

by Prescott, Lara,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 45 Libraries 49 of 58 copies
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Summary
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A HELLO SUNSHINE x REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK

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.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Spy stories offer high reader appeal, and Prescott's debut far surpasses the typical genre fare. In her novel, set during the post-WWII Cold War era, East seldom meets West, but events in each influence the other deeply. Through extensive research, Prescott artfully illuminates the CIA's role in helping disseminate the Soviet-banned Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. That novel, smuggled into and printed in Italy, found wide acclaim and earned its author a Nobel Prize. Meanwhile, as the Soviets launch satellites and chase scientific discoveries, the CIA takes a literary approach, choosing to change hearts and minds with literature. To that end, they trained women to deliver messages and ferret secrets from powerful men. Two such woman are Irina, an American with deep ties to Russia, and beautiful, mysterious Sally; both women have secrets of their own to conceal. Prescott, herself named after Doctor Zhivago's heroine, does a masterful job of spanning continents and juggling shifting points of view, but readers may wish to keep notes to remember who's who. Cold War buffs or those familiar with Pasternak's tour-de-force and its adaptations will find this book especially enticing. Those new to the story will still be intrigued, and perhaps want to seek out the original.--Joan Curbow Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Prescott's triumphant debut offers a fresh perspective on women employed by the CIA during the 1950s and their role in disseminating into the Soviet Union copies of Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak's banned masterpiece. In 1956, American-born Irina Drozdova gets a job at the CIA ostensibly as a typist but is destined for fieldwork. Former OSS agent Sally Forrester trains Irina in spycraft. Meanwhile, inside the Soviet Union, Boris Pasternak's lover, Olga Vsevolodovna, is interrogated about Pasternak's work in progress, Dr. Zhivago. After three years in a prison camp, she reunites with Pasternak, who, unable to publish in the Soviet Union, entrusts his novel to an Italian publisher's representative. Back in Washington, Irina, now engaged to a male agent but in love with Sally, seeks assignment overseas. Dressed as a nun, she places copies of Dr. Zhivago, printed in the original Russian for the CIA, into the hands of Soviet citizens visiting the Vienna World's Fair. Through lucid images and vibrant storytelling, Prescott creates an edgy postfeminist vision of the Cold War, encompassing Sputnik to glasnost, typing pool to gulag, for a smart, lively page-turner. This debut shines as spy story, publication thriller, and historical romance with a twist. 200,000-copy announced first printing. (Sept.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Pasternak, Boris Leonidovich, -- 1890-1960. -- Doktor Zhivago -- Fiction.
United States. -- Central Intelligence Agency -- Officials and employees -- Fiction.
Cold War -- Fiction.
Spy fiction.
Historical fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)
Romance fiction.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First edition.
Language English
Notes "A Borzoi book"--Title page verso.
"Reese's book club"--Dust jacket.
Description xi, 349 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9780525656159
0525656154
Other Classic View