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A fascinating tale of secretaries turned spies, love and duty, and dedication–inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to penetrate Soviet Russia’s hearts and minds, not with propaganda, but with the 20th century’s greatest love story: Dr. Zhivago.

Two secretaries were taken out of the CIA’s typing pool at the height of the Cold War and given a lifetime assignment. Their mission: to smuggle Dr. Zhivago out of the U.S.S.R., where no one dares to publish it, and to help the magnum opus of Pasternak make its way into printing around the world. Glamorous and glamorous Sally Forrester is a professional hacker who has enhanced her worldwide talent for deception-using her magnetism and charisma to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice and quickly learns how to mix in, make falls, and invisibly ferry-classified documents under Sally’s tutelage. 

The Secrets We Kept blends a legendary literary love story–Pasternak’s decades-long affair with his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago’s protagonist, Lara–with a plot of two women driven to lead lives of exceptional suspense and danger. The Secrets We Kept captures a seminal moment in the history of literature from Pasternak’s country estate outside Moscow to the brutalities of the Gulag, from Washington, DC to Paris and Milan–told with soaring emotional intensity and captivating historical detail. And the strong conviction that a piece of art could change the world is at the heart of this unforgettable debut.