It was not really the spy story that kept my attention but rather the unknown fact to me that Doctor Zhivago, a romance novel and Nobel prize was such a threat for the Soviet regime!
This is not a spy book by the way! More something akin to romance or woman’s fiction.
We follow different characters:
The Typists, sort of “off voice” narrated by Saskia Maarleveld and that gives a kind of glue or sentient POV to the story. She represents “the typists” as a whole.
Sally Forrester’s voice, seasoned spy that will be used by the men behind the agency.
Irina, the newbie in the secretary pools that will be soon turned into master spy under to Sally’s tutelage.
Teddy, member of the CIA and soon Irina’s fiancé.
Boris Pasternak, poet, writer, Russian and author of doctor Zhivago. Indomitable, defiant.
Boris’s mistress Olga who will pay for his rebellious ways by going to a work camp and living in fear most of her life.
What was extremely interesting was the idea that this book, and a romance at that, was such a political weapon.
If all the ingredients were presents to make it a great book, it never really took off for me and felt a little bit “cold”. I gues this was a case of it’s not the book, it’s me.
Have you read it? What did you think of it?
Thanks for reading!