Book Review

THE SECRETS WE KEPT by Lara Prescott

Rating: 3.5 / 5

THE SECRETS WE KEPT by Lara Prescott is inspired by the true story of how the CIA plotted to smuggle Boris Pasternak’s book DOCTOR ZHIVAGO out of the USSR during the Cold War in order to get the story with its commentary on the Russian Revolution published and distributed. In the West, we follow Sallyand Irina who work in the CIA typing pool and are tasked to act as spies in the effort of getting DOCTOR ZHIVAGO to print. In the East we follow Olga who is Pasternak’s mistress/true love and muse who is targeted by her government for her involvement with the author.

I had some mixed feelings on this book and I think that really is because of the synopsis. The synopsis really focuses on the spy mission to bring DOCTOR ZHIVAGO to the world, spearheaded by two women spies and that is part of the story, but I wouldn’t say it was the chief component. We do get to see some of the harsh treatment Olga receives and a picture of the Cold War era in the east and west. Still, the book was a lot less espionage than I expected and more relationships and romance.

Expectations aside, I did really enjoy the book overall. There are multiple perspectives given through the book and I thought that was really well handled. Sometimes that can be difficult in audio form, but there was a big cast of narrators which really helped with that. I did enjoy following so many strong women throughout the book as well!

Overall a good read that probably could have used a more informative synopsis and a book I would recommend!

Reading Challenges:

#AroundTheYearin52Books – a book about an event or era in history taken from the Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

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