Book Review

Book Review: The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Historical Fiction
Length: 368 pages
Author: Lara Prescott
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: September 17th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Secretaries turned spies, love and duty, and 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.


Ohhhh my goodness.

When I pick up a historical fiction book I really enjoy learning about the time period or whatever aspect is being used for the historical portion. I had to look up so much more information after reading this book because I felt like I gained nothing.

Most of this book was focused on the external relationships of all of these characters. Who they were dating and why, etc. etc. So instead of learning about WHY this book was important to the CIA and the Cold War I learned about some typists and who they liked. I just didn’t care. If it truly pertained to everything else it would have been fine, but this is a rare case of me saying, it needed less romance. I would have loved more espionage and action.

I felt like I knew what was happening and had no idea all in the same breath. It was convoluted and I don’t want to drag this review out anymore. Big miss. Wasn’t worth the time.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: racism, sexism, homophobia, rape (on page), sexual harassment, cheating, suicide and suicide ideation, loss of a parent, internment camp

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