Since the disappearance of her husband in 1951, Laura Leverett has been living in limbo with her daughter in Geneva. All others see is her conventional, charming exterior; nobody guesses the secret she is carrying. Her double life began years ago, when she stepped on to the boat which carried her across the Atlantic in 1939. Eager to learn, and eager to love, she found herself suddenly inspired by a young Communist woman she met on the boat. In London she begins to move between two different worlds – from the urbane society of her cousins and their upper class friends, to the anger of those who want to forge a new society. One night at a party she meets a man who seems to her to combine both worlds, but who is hiding a secret bigger than she could ever imagine.
Impelled by desire, she finds herself caught up in his hidden life. Love grows, but so do fear and danger. This is the warm-blooded story of the Cold War. The story of a wife whose part will take her from London in the Blitz, to Washington at the height of McCarthyism, to the possible haven of the English countryside. Gradually she learns what is at stake for herself, her husband, and her daughter; gradually she realises the dark consequences of her youthful idealism.
I was drinking
Gin & tonic ( Fevertree, of course)
In my opinion
I am not usually one of those irritating people, blocking your way, whilst keeping their head deep in their book- today I was! Desperate to read the last few pages and find out what happened before I reached the office.
I thoroughly enjoyed this very long novel & carried it around, in spite of its weight, as I was so intrigued by the story.
I was interested to find out the inspiration behind the two main characters, and the whole novel had the feel of a well researched historical novel, which I love, perhaps reflecting that Ms Walter has previously written non- fiction.
It is an extremely detailed story, which builds up layer upon layer of intrigue, some of the descriptions of characters are fabulous and I was pulled into a believable world of bluffs, lies and debauchery, as the story moves seamlessly from one location to another.
I am not sure how sympathetic a character Laura is, and I never really felt that her passion for her cause was so overwhelming that she would have pursued the life she did, but maybe that is all part of her double life...she is not open with the reader either.
This book has left me with a lot to think about, I look forward to the author's next novel with interest
Thanks to lovereading.co.uk & the publishers for providing me with a advance copy of this fabulous novel to be published June 2016