A.k.a. "the Dr Zhivago novel"; the buzz about this début started months ago, when it sparked a bidding war between 12 UK publishers, and 14 in the US. Rights have sold in 29 territories. It is based on the true story of how Boris Pasternak’s novel Dr Zhivago, deemed to be subversive, was smuggled out of Soviet Russia to be
published in the West, and how two female CIA agents, drawn from the typing pool, played their part. Author Prescott was named after the heroine of Dr Zhivago, and discovered the true story behind the novel after the CIA declassified various documents.
Lara Prescott uses multiple narrators and viewpoints in her impressive debut The Secrets We Kept, but hers is a 20th-century tale of Cold War confrontation...
By concentrating on the women in the story (Pasternak’s mistress, Olga, who suffers in the gulag for her love, and the two American agents who embark on a doomed affair), Prescott has written an unusual, stimulating variant on the standard spy thriller.
If you’ve never read Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago you’ll want to after reading this stylish debut novel. It’s a fascinating fictionalisation of how the celebrated Russian author’s book came to be published, despite being banned by the Soviets. As two women from the CIA’s typing pool try to smuggle the masterpiece back into Russia, we realise the true power of a book to change history. Prescott delivers a multi-layered tales of the drama behind the story.