The Secrets We Kept: A Novel

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Author Boris Pasternak knows the novel he’s writing, Doctor Zhivago, is a masterpiece. However, since the novel is critical of Russia, he also knows that the Russian government will do anything to prevent its publication. The costs are steep: Pasternak’s mistress, Olga, is sent to the gulag as punishment for aiding and protecting him. But Pasternak perseveres, and the CIA comes to see that his novel might be a powerful weapon in the Cold War. Typists-slash-spies Sally and Irina find themselves playing a pivotal role in the book’s journey to publication, and its winding path back into Russia.

Told from multiple viewpoints including Pasternak, Olga, Irina, and Sally, The Secrets We Kept spans over a decade of political turmoil and crosses from East to West again and again as the CIA’s plan is conceived and executed. Sally and Irina are all but hidden from the world in their innocuous secretarial roles, yet their skill and savvy are crucial to the covert American actions. At the heart of the intrigue and espionage, always, are the women and men who find their professional, artistic, and familial roles heightened with international significance. All involved in Doctor Zhivago’s birth know it is far more than one man’s creative triumph. Nothing less than freedom is at stake.

Reviewed By:

Author Lara Prescott
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2019-09-03
ISBN 9780525656159 Buy this Book
Issue January 2020
Category Popular Fiction


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