The Betrayal

The Betrayal

Book - 2010
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Internationally-acclaimed author Helen Dunmore follows her bestselling novel, The Siege , with a riveting and emotionally absorbing portrait of post-war Soviet Russia, a world of violence and terror, where the severest acts of betrayal can come from the most trusted allies.

In 1952 Leningrad, Andrei, a young doctor, and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together in the postwar, post-siege wreckage. But they know their happiness is precarious, like that of millions of Russians who must avoid the claws of Stalin's merciless Ministry of State Security. When Andrei is forced to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer, his every move is scrutinized, and it becomes painfully clear that his own fate, and that of his family, is bound to the child's. Trapped in an impossible game of life and death, and pitted against a power-mad father's raging grief, Andrei and Anna must avoid the whispers and watchful eyes of those who will say or do anything to save themselves.

With The Betrayal , Dunmore returns with a powerful and stirring novel of ordinary people in the grip of a terrible and sinister regime, and an evocative tale of a love that will not be silenced.
Publisher: New York : Black Cat, 2010.
ISBN: 9780802170880
Characteristics: 331 p. ; 21 cm.


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Sep 28, 2017

Normally I really enjoy this author, but for some reason this one wasn't for me. Maybe the wrong time? I may try again another day, but for now I'm regretfully closing and returning.

Jul 05, 2017

This was a terrific read. Start with The Siege which takes place during the WW2 siege of Leningrad. In The Betrayal the same main characters are back--the time is approximately 1950-1953. I found Helen Dunmore (who recently passed away) on the Guardian books site. Bookish people were discussing it and with praise so I thought I'd give it a try. Excellent two books.

May 21, 2015

Dashed hopes of a good read. 1953 Russia, the height of Stalin. I have a hard time believing the advanced medical practices & especially using the expression 'sod off'. Not in Russia 1953. Not bother to read further - back to shelves. However! The Lie is excellent for WWI details on the devastating affects of the war.

Aug 02, 2012

This book continues the story begun in "The Seige" during Leningrad in the 1940s. It has the same characters now living under Stalin in the 1950s Russia. Again, excellent.

Jul 09, 2012

Absolutely excellent book. Read it over two days.

Jan 31, 2012

Slow at the beginning but picked up half-way through. Scary that it's so easy for a society to become like this.

Nov 16, 2011

A great read. The author has clearly done a lot of research on the place & period, but it simply informs the story and the character, there's no "here's where I show off what I found out".

Apr 27, 2010

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It takes place in the dark days of Russia and presents us with a Russian population that lives in fear and suspicion. When a young doctor is pulled reluctantly into a cancer case with an unhappy ending, his life turns into a living hell. There is a sense of impending doom right from the begining of the story as this doctor and his family prepare for the possibility that he will be wrongfully arrested.I loved getting to know the characters and was very interested to read about what Russia may have been like for people in that time period. There was a great deal of suffering and injustice and we get a good glimpse of how vulnerable the people are, both the average citizen and those higher up. I found the book so interesting that I am going to read her previous book "The Seige" next.


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