"The Betrayal" is the sequel to Helen Dunmore's hugely successful historical novel "The Siege", set in Stalin's Russia. Leningrad, 1952. Andrei, a young hospital doctor and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together in the post-war, post-siege wreckage. But their happiness is precarious, like that of millions of Russians who must ...Read More"The Betrayal" is the sequel to Helen Dunmore's hugely successful historical novel "The Siege", set in Stalin's Russia. Leningrad, 1952. Andrei, a young hospital doctor and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together in the post-war, post-siege wreckage. But their happiness is precarious, like that of millions of Russians who must avoid the claws of Stalin's merciless Ministry for State security. So when Andrei is asked to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer, he and Anna are fearful. Trapped in an impossible, maybe unwinnable game, can they avoid the whispers and watchful eyes of those who will say or do anything to save themselves? "The Betrayal" is a powerful and touching novel of ordinary people in the grip of a terrible and sinister regime, and a moving portrait of a love that will not be extinguished. "Beautifully crafted, gripping, moving, enlightening. Sure to be one of the best historical novels of the year". ("Time Out"). "Scrupulous, pitch-perfect. With heart-pounding force, Dunmore builds up a double narrative of suspense". ("Sunday Times"). "Magnificent, brave, tender ...with a unique gift for immersing the reader in the taste, smell and fear of a story". ("Independent on Sunday"). Novelist and poet Helen Dunmore has achieved great critical acclaim since publishing her first adult novel, the McKitterick Prize winning, "Zennor in Darkness". Her novels, "Counting the Stars", "Your Blue-Eyed Boy", "With Your Crooked Heart", "Burning Bright", "House of Orphans", "Mourning Ruby", "A Spell of Winter", and "Talking to the Dead", and her collection of short stories "Love of Fat Men" are all published by Penguin. Helen also writes for children, her titles include "The Deep" and "Ingo".Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-04 Dunmore revisits Stalin's Leningrad in a powerful novel set a decade after The Siege. It's 1952 and Andrei Alekseyev; his wife, Anna Levina, a nursery school teacher; and her younger brother, Kolya (key characters in The Siege), have learned to live inconspicuously. In a world in which citizens are expected to be "vigilant" in reporting questionable behavior, attracting attention can lead to imprisonment or death. Andrei is a pediatrician with a dilemma in the form of a very ill 10-year-old boy whose surname evokes terror: Volkov, the boy's father, is an infamous senior officer in the Ministry for State Security. Andrei has little hope that his professional ethics will protect him or his family, but he allows them to guide him nonetheless, and the tale that unfolds is riveting. Dunmore alludes to the arrest of hundreds of physicians, most of them Jews, but for Andrei, the danger isn't that Volkov considers him part of the fabricated conspiracy of "murderers in white coats." The threat is that Volkov likes to punish those who displease him. With precise period detail and astute psychological insight, Dunmore brings the last months of Stalin's reign to life and reminds us why some eras shouldn't be forgotten. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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