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The Betrayal
  • Published: 31 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141946030
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

The Betrayal

A touching historical novel from the Women's Prize-winning author of A Spell of Winter



The extraordinary sequel to the acclaimed bestseller The Siege

Leningrad in 1952: a city recovering from war, where Andrei, a young hospital doctor and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together. Summers at the dacha, preparations for the hospital ball, work and the care of sixteen year old Kolya fill their minds. They try hard to avoid coming to the attention of the authorities, but even so their private happiness is precarious. Stalin is still in power, and the Ministry for State Security has new targets in its sights. When Andrei has to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer, Volkov, he finds himself and his family caught in an impossible game of life and death - for in a land ruled by whispers and watchfulness, betrayal can come from those closest to you.

A gripping and deeply moving portrait of life in post-war Soviet Russia, The Betrayal brilliantly shows the epic struggle of ordinary people to survive in a time of violence and terror.

  • Published: 31 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141946030
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the author

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore was an award-winning novelist, children’s author and poet who will be remembered for the depth and breadth of her fiction. Rich and intricate, yet narrated with a deceptive simplicity that made all of her work accessible and heartfelt, her writing stood out for the fluidity and lyricism of her prose, and her extraordinary ability to capture the presence of the past.

Her first novel, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led D. H. Lawrence to be expelled from Cornwall on suspicion of spying, and won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996, and she went on to become a Sunday Times bestseller with The Siege, which was described by Antony Beevor as a ‘world-class novel’ and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize. Published in 2010, her eleventh novel, The Betrayal, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and The Lie in 2014 was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the 2015 RSL Ondaatje Prize.

Her final novel, Birdcage Walk, deals with legacy and recognition – what writers, especially women writers, can expect to leave behind them – and was described by the Observer as ‘the finest novel Helen Dunmore has written’. She died in June 2017, and in January 2018, she was posthumously awarded the Costa Prize for her volume of poetry, Inside the Wave.

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Praise for The Betrayal

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

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