The Betrayal Hardcover – 29 Apr 2010
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Enthralling. Emotionally gripping . . . ordinary people struggling against a city's beautiful indifference, and clinging on for dear life (Daily Telegraph)
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)
A masterpiece. An extraordinarily powerful evocation of a time of unimaginable fear. We defy you to read it without a pounding heart and a lump in your throat (Grazia)
A beautifully written and deeply moving story about fear, loss, love and honesty amid the demented lies of Stalin's last days. I literally could not put it down (Antony Beevor)
Dunmore chillingly evokes the atmosphere of Soviet suspicion, where whispered rumours and petty grievances metastasise into lies and denunciation. A gripping read (Daily Mail)
Meticulous, clever, eloquent. An absorbing and thoughtful tale of good people in hard times (Guardian)
A remarkably feeling, nuanced novel that satisfies the head as well as the heart. This does not read like a retelling of history, but like a draught of real life. With her seemingly small canvas, Dunmore has created a universe (Sunday Herald)
Dunmore's genius lies in her ability to convey the strange Soviet atmosphere of these very Soviet stories using the most subtle of clues (Spectator)
Storytelling on a grand scale (The Times)
About the Author
Helen Dunmore has published eleven novels with Penguin: Zennor in Darkness, which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphans; Counting the Stars and The Betrayal which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.
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Top Customer Reviews
It continues the story of Anna and Andre and their struggle to survive in post-war Soviet Russia. They may no-longer have to boil leather for 'soup' but getting food still mean queuing, perhaps for hours, hoping that the supply will not run out before they reach the head of the queue. The people of Leningrad may no-longer have to worry about the enemy without, but the enemy within is real, nothing has really changed. From the moment that Andre is asked to look at a sick child, the son of Volkov a senior secret-police officer, I had a sense of foreboding. The suspense builds with every page as the main characters, a doctor and nursery teacher, are caught up in a situation from which there is no escape under the Stalinist regime. It made me try to imagine what it would be like to live in a society where you lived in fear of being denounced by 'friends' or neighbours, where 'trust no-one' was a creed you lived by. Then again, can we really condemn the betrayers? Their lives, the lives of their families were also threatened and perhaps they just did what they had to to survive.
This is fiction and yet it reads like fact, I believed in the characters, believed that this situation occured. Dunmore takes the reader on a journey into the heart of Soviet Russia, this novel entertains and educates, what more can you ask?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I arrived at this novel by way of my rich enjoyment of the author's “The Greatcoat”, a sophisticated, supernatural thriller. This is a very different novel. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bluecashmere.
A worthy successor to The Siege that can be read perfectly well on its own, too. Set ten years after WWII, The Betrayal brings you into the world of extreme paranoia at the end of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christa
Like Alone in Berlin, Dunmore's book really brings home to you what daily life was like under a totalitarian regime. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Norman Housley
I do not have a strong opinion about this book I read it for a Book Club so would not have been my choice.Published 5 months ago by Anne 73