I managed to finish reading “The Secrets We Kept” by Lara Prescott yesterday. It didn’t take me long to read in the general scheme of reading books (maybe 1.5-2 weeks), but to me it felt like it took forever. I bought the book off of Thriftbooks because it was a Reese’s Book Club choice not too long ago and the premise sounded interesting.
During the Cold War, Boris Pasternak is working on his life’s work, which would eventually become Doctor Zhivago. Pasternak is married, but has an affair with this woman, who is his muse for the female protagonist in his book. When he’s finished writing the book, he has trouble getting it published in the Soviet Union, as the government find the book subversive towards its cause. An Italian man discovers the manuscript and convinces Pasternak to allow him to take his work to Italy to be published so that the Western world can discover what’s really happening in communist Russia. Of course, America hears about the work and employs a couple of spies/agents to get their hands on the book so they can publish the book as well.
This book’s based on the true story of how Zhivago gets published in American and Europe and is recommended as a spy novel, but I rarely saw the spy side of the story. As others have said in their reviews on Goodreads, it’s a love story thinly veiled as a spy/thriller novel. I wouldn’t have minded as much except that the point of view is constant shifting between several characters with little to no notice, which makes it difficult to follow who’s talking. Half of the novel was spent figuring out who was talking only to have the perspective change on me again. I wish the book went more smoothly and had clear depictions on what was going on.
I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads, only because I was relieved to have finally reached the ending on it. Reese, I enjoy a lot of your book club picks, but this one wasn’t one of your greatest choices.