Blog Tour Stop! The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
Want to make me, a reader, swoon over a book? Give me a story that is centered around espionage AND one of the greatest works of literature of all time. That my friends, is The Secrets We Kept.
TWO FEMALE SPIES. A BANNED MASTERPIECE. A BOOK THAT CHANGED HISTORY.
1956. A celebrated Russian author is writing a book, Doctor Zhivago, which could spark dissent in the Soviet Union. The Soviets, afraid of its subversive power, ban it.
But in the rest of the world it’s fast becoming a sensation.
In Washington DC, the CIA is planning to use the book to tip the Cold War in its favour. Their agents are not the usual spies, however. Two typists – the charming, experienced Sally and the talented novice Irina – are charged with the mission of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago back into Russia by any means necessary.
It will not be easy. There are people prepared to die for this book – and agents willing to kill for it. But they cannot fail – as this book has the power to change history.
Sold in twenty-five countries and poised to become a global literary sensation, Lara Prescott’s dazzling first novel is a sweeping page turner and the most hotly anticipated debut of the year.
Where even do you you start with a book this enthralling? I love a good, meaty historical fiction book because they always feel so much more real when you can imagine them happening during events that have actually occurred, so to have this set during the Cold War is exactly perfect for me.
Having your lead characters be strong-ass female spies? Yes please. Give me more historical fiction with women as the lead. There is no where NEAR enough of this type of fiction from the perspective of strong women and I want MORE OF THIS.
Make the center of the story surround Doctor Zhivago, banned in it’s home country, mysteriously landing in the west, and creating an opportunity for the CIA to manipulate the public. Everyone understands Dr Zhivago, even in passing knowledge, and again, that tie to real life history makes the stakes of this story all the higher, all the more tense, all the more compelling.
I loved basically EVERYTHING about this story, let’s be honest. I love that it had delightfully tense undertones. That it had all the perfect elements of historical fiction. That it tied in two unique and intense love stories. I love that the story moves between what’s happening in the east and the west. I loved that women were the center of the story.
Beyond the love is the utter respect I have for Lara Prescott who wrote this SO TRUE to the era it took place in, not shying away from the sexism, the politics, the lifestyles, the language of the time - it is literally like stepping in a time capsule and it allowed me to sink deeply into the fabric of the story. Parts of it read exactly how you expect - with cringing frustration at how brilliant women would have been treated in the workplace in that time. Kudos to Lara for refusing to give in to tweaking how those pieces would have played out in a more liberal era - it frustrated the hell out of me, but it made for a stronger story.
There is so much about this plot that I could discuss for hours, but the reality is that expectation with this book would be it’s undoing. Thinking you know what “type” of book you are reading doesn’t work here, it translates so gently from spy thriller to political discussion to love story, you are truly defying any one genre. So do yourself a favor - set aside what you think you are getting into with this one and go in with an open mind and blank slate. Let yourself fall in love with the story, and move with the times. I promise you will not be disappointed.
This is a story destined to be a smash hit that everyone will be talking about, reading, dissecting and recommending - perfect for book clubs, I cannot wait to sit down with my club and dive into this one in detail!
Thank you Random Things Tours for inviting me to join this tour and sharing this book with me - this will be on my re-read favorites shelf for many many years to come.
Be sure to check out some other amazing stops on this blog tour as well!