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4.5 out of 5 stars
115
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2017
Rarely have I read a novel so effective in evoking the feeling of Stalinist Russia; the suffocating, overwhelming paranoia of a place where everyone is alert to dissenters, saboteurs, and enemies of the state, where people are willing to inform on those around them to save themselves, or just to improve their own situation. Dunmore builds the uncertainty, watchfulness, and selfishness into the very bones of her story, making her two main characters, Anna and Andrei, stand out all the more. Perhaps it was this dichotomy that made them seem unreal to me, but they were almost too perfect: self-sacrificing, brave, hopeful. Again, this may say more about me than them, but where I could imagine all the other people in the novel with real clarity, these two were just too good to be believed. The book offers them as a symbol of enduring love, able to persist even in the most difficult of times, a confidence well at odds with their daily lives and gut wrenching enough in the climate of the novel to make the reader sick with worry for them.

It was masterfully done by the author, each word chosen for emotion and impact. Her death this year was a sad loss, but i'm thankful that it brought me to her works.
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on 8 September 2014
A simple, terrible story, told with control and tenderness. I felt it was what 1984 aspired to be. Having lived in the former Soviet Union, where dissipated ripples from the time of Stalin have occasionally lapped around my feet, I felt moved, unnerved and reminded of what a society almost devoid of trust can feel like. The Betrayal is, I think, better than The Siege, despite the cover. My only niggle would be the addition of the last page. The story is so gripping that I felt this could have been expanded into a third book. This is a story which will stay with you long after you have finished it.
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on 18 June 2017
The shows the power of love, optimism and integrity to triumph over brutality and political terror. This is a well written novel which draw me in to the plight of the characters. It might have been better to have read ‘The Siege’ first as the story picked up some memories from the siege of Leningrad experienced by the Anna and Andrei.
Postscript: Helen Dunmore the author died on 5 June 2017.
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on 9 August 2017
You must read The Siege before reading this otherwise the references to the past won't make much sense. Brilliantly written and imaginatively described, I was hooked from the beginning. Another wonderful book from a much loved author of mine.
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on 29 June 2017
Fascinating. The tension of early fifties life in Russia is well conveyed with a plot and characters which engage the reader's interest from line one .Highly recommended.
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on 11 February 2015
Another of this author's brilliant novels. This a sequel to The Siege and perhaps even more distressing in that it deals with the undeserved suffering of characters whom one really cares about and because it is based on recent horrific history( Stalin's USSR). A book to make you cry even while you admire the brilliance of the writing.!
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on 27 March 2017
Happy
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on 16 June 2017
Always love her books, shame she is no longer with us.
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on 10 March 2017
well-written and thought provoking.
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on 25 July 2017
Even Helen misses.
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