Skip to main content


The Secrets We Kept (Digital Audiobook)

A novel

By Lara Prescott, Cynthia Farrell (Narrator), Mozhan Marnò (Narrator), Carlotta Brentan (Narrator), Saskia Maarleveld (Narrator), Jonathan Davis (Narrator), David Pittu (Narrator), James Fouhey (Narrator)

Publication Date: September 2, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/30/2020)
Paperback, Large Print (9/3/2019)
Hardcover (9/3/2019)

September 2019 Indie Next List

“This perfect historical novel is made of the most alluring ingredients. First, a divine and doomed love affair between Russian author Boris Pasternak and his muse and secretary, Olga Ivinskaya, a woman immortalized in Pasternak’s epic novel Doctor Zhivago, which was banned in Russia for more than 30 years. Second, two American women typists working for CIA and their forbidden love story in the midst of the Cold War and the witch hunt against homosexuals. Lara Prescott brilliantly portrays how a timeless novel like Doctor Zhivago can change course of history. After I finished reading The Secrets We Kept, I pressed the book against my chest, as if I could hear the lovers’ hearts still beating.”
— Aggie Zivaljevic, Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, CA
View the List

Summer 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List

“A fast-paced and fascinating novel about the women behind the CIA’s plan to use Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago as a weapon against the Soviet system. The story moves easily from East to West and from the lives of the women who supported and inspired Pasternak to the women who helped get his banned book into Soviet readers’ hands.”
— Margo Grimm Eule, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
View the List

Description

A HELLO SUNSHINE x REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK

A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of 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.

The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story--the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago's heroine, Lara--with a narrative about two women empowered to lead lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk. From Pasternak's country estate outside Moscow to the brutalities of the Gulag, from Washington, D.C. to Paris and Milan, The Secrets We Kept captures a watershed moment in the history of literature--told with soaring emotional intensity and captivating historical detail. And at the center of this unforgettable debut is the powerful belief that a piece of art can change the world.

This audiobook features performances by Mozhan Marno as Olga, Carlotta Brentan as Irina, Cynthia Farrell as Sally, Saskia Maarleveld as The Typists, Jonathan Davis as Boris, David Pittu as Sergio, and James Fouhey as Teddy.