The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott #review #historicalfiction @AAKnopf @laraprescott


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 Keptcaptures 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.


This novel is told via two different stories, Irina and Lara. Irina has been given a job in the typing pool. She is then given more responsibilities and this leads to world of change in her life. Then there is Lara. She is the muse for Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. She is in communist Russia and is sent to the gulag for her part in his book.

Irina, when she is first introduced into this story, I thought of her as a mousy type woman. But, let me tell you…she roared. She is tough and even if she is afraid, she will step out of her comfort zone and do something totally out of character.

Lara’s story is the most intriguing. The gulag, communist Russia, Boris Pasternak, what could go wrong. Plenty! You must read this tale to find out!

Oh boy! I have not had a good spy novel, since I don’t know when! This book starts out amazing. I was completely hooked. The story did drag a little in the middle. But, then it picked up and did a complete twist. Also, I have never read Doctor Zhivago. GASP! It is on my list to listen to this month. I love a book which makes me pick up another book. And because of thIs novel, have to see what all the fuss was about.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble


About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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5 Responses to The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott #review #historicalfiction @AAKnopf @laraprescott

  1. I have been eyeing this book, but wasn’t sure I would like it.

    Your review has helped – thanks.

    I like when a book has me looking for more by the same author or similar authors too. 😍

    Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Pingback: August Wrap-up #reviews #wrapup | reecaspieces

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