PRESS & PRAISE FOR

The SECRETS We KEPT

An instant New York Times bestseller
An instant USA Today bestseller
An instant Amazon Charts bestseller
An instant Washington Post bestseller
An instant Publishers Weekly bestseller
An instant national Indie list bestseller
A Hello Sunshine x Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
1 of 17 Books to Watch for in September (The New York Times)
1 of 17 Best Fall Books (Vogue)
1 of 18 of the Best Books of Fall 2019 (O, The Oprah Magazine)
1 of 9 Books to Read this September (InStyle magazine)
Named Fall’s Biggest Debut Novel by New York magazine
Named one of the Best Books of the Month by Amazon
Selected as 1 of the 10 Best Books of September by Apple Books
1 of 20 New Books to read in September (Entertainment Weekly)
Indie Next Great Reads selection
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection
Named one of September 2019’s nine best novels by Barnes & Noble
The Best New Historical Fiction (The Sunday Times)
One of Fall 2019’s Biggest Titles (Entertainment Weekly)
The Best Books of September (Refinery29)
1 of 10 New Good Books to Read (Cosmo UK)
1 of the Best Audiobooks of September (Paste)
One of The Biggest Books of the Fall (Goodreads)
One of 2019’s most anticipated books (LitHub)
LibraryReads Book of the Month pick
Books-A-Million Fall Pick
One of the Top 10 Writers to Watch in 2019 (The Millions)
LoveReading Debut of the Month
LoveReading Top 10 list
One of Fall 2019’s Most Anticipated Novels (BookPage)
2019 BookExpo Editors’ Buzz selection
One of the Seven Best LGBTQ Books Out in Autumn 2019 (Bustle)
1 of 36 New Books Of Fall 2019 You Need To Have On Your Autumn Reading List (Bustle)
Starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, BookPage and Library Journal
1 of 20 Eye-Opening Books to read this Fall (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
One of September’s Best New Books (Stylist magazine)
1 of the 10 Best Books to Read in September (Red magazine)
1 of 10 New Books You Should Read this September (CrimeReads)
One of the best LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2019 (O, The Oprah Magazine)


“A gorgeous and romantic feast of a novel.”
The New York Times

The Secrets We Kept reimagines Doctor Zhivago’s dangerous journey to publication, placing women serving as CIA secretaries at the center of the story…And by allowing them to address the reader and assert their point of view—in a time and place where only men’s voices are heeded—Prescott puts the power in the women’s hands.”
TIME magazine

“A stunning spycraft debut...This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot.”
Vogue

“This transporting debut vividly recreates 1950s Washington, DC, where the CIA typing pool is an incubator for female spies…A daring, smart blend of fact and fiction.”
People

“Crackling…a sort of proto-feminist Mad Men transposed to the world of international espionage--all midcentury style and intrigue set against real, indelible history.”
Entertainment Weekly

“The epic sweep of Prescott’s narrative ambition is stunning.”
Paste

“A brilliant mix of sentence-to-sentence lit-craft with the pacing of a stone-cold page-turner, The Secrets We Kept is a novel about the power of literature, about a historical moment when the Western intelligence services believed a novel could change the course of the Cold War.”
The Austin American-Statesman

“Irresistibly charged and vividly imagined…told with a breezy confidence that sets the pages flying.”
Daily Mail

“This propulsive Cold War spy thriller dazzles with real-life literary intrigue, illuminating the secretaries-turned-spies tasked with pulling off an unusual heist: smuggling Boris Pasternak’s censured Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, to be used as a weapon of war…The Secrets We Kept is a fascinating read, and a beautiful tribute to the power of the written word.”
Amazon Books

“One of the biggest fiction releases of the year.”
New York magazine

“This cinematic Cold War thriller spins a seductive spy drama from the covert mission to publish Boris Pasternak’s classic Russian romance Doctor Zhivago.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“I felt like I went into a different world when I was reading this book.”
Reese Witherspoon

“The hottest tome of September is The Secrets We Kept.”
Refinery29

“Triumphant… Through lucid images and vibrant storytelling, Prescott creates an edgy postfeminist vision of the Cold War…for a smart, lively page-turner. This debut shines as spy story, publication thriller, and historical romance with a twist.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This propulsive slice of historical fiction imagines the publication of Boris Pasternak’s subversive Doctor Zhivago as a covert Cold War drama, with Americans vying to see it through and Soviets working to prevent it from going public. On both sides of the conflict, women drive the narrative. Prescott combines Mad Men-esque period style with a spy story worthy of John Le Carré.”
Entertainment Weekly (from the Fall Books Preview)

“Prescott’s hard-boiled depiction of D.C.’s intelligence community — its social and sexual hierarchies — gives readers a gritty insider-tour of a “Mad Men”-redolent world where women had to work doubly hard to be taken as serious players, effectively doing everything backward and in heels…Such is the thoroughness of Prescott’s research and the crispness of her delivery that the novel reads almost like a documentary, itemizing cultural milestones and emblems (Nat King Cole, Sputnik, Alka-Seltzer) alongside women’s courageous contributions to postwar heroism. Her details vibrate with authority…Reading “Secrets” affords a pleasurable, inspiring way to absorb unsung history.”
The Washington Post

“A page-turner…This is escapist fiction rooted in an at times harrowing historical reality.”
The Sunday Times (UK)

“Lara Prescott uses multiple narrators and viewpoints in her impressive debut The Secrets We Kept, but hers is a 20th-century tale of Cold War confrontation. In Russia, Boris Pasternak writes his masterpiece Doctor Zhivago, encouraged by his lover, despite the pressures placed on them by the Soviet state; in the West, the CIA seizes on the novel and its censorship in the USSR as weapons in the continuing propaganda battle. By concentrating on the women in the story (Pasternak’s mistress, Olga, who suffers in the gulag for her love, and the two American agents who embark on a doomed affair), Prescott has written an unusual, stimulating variant on the standard spy thriller.”
The Sunday Times (UK)

“The perfect historical fiction novel…”
Bustle

“Finely-structured…sparkling…spellbinding. Prescott’s novel, shaped by a central intelligence of its own, is a bittersweet reminder of a world in which eloquent books like hers still counted.”
Texas Observer

“Riveting reading.”
Daily Mail

“A fascinating true-life tale has been embroidered into a thrilling story that has it all — turbulent historical events, romantic love (some thwarted, some forbidden) and very cool spycraft…This captivating novel is so assured that it’s hard to believe it’s a debit — and very easy to see why there’s a huge buzz around it”
The Sunday Mirror (UK)

“A page-turner that is at once a spy thriller, historical fiction and heartfelt romance…a thumping good story.”
The Columbus Dispatch

“Ambitious in scope and proving that fact can be stranger than fiction, this is the perfect book for some much-needed escapism. Cut yourself off and drink it all in.”
Stylist magazine

“A rip-roaring tale of espionage, Russian literature and some absolutely badass women.”
Red magazine

“The sisterhood that Prescott initiates the reader into in this Cold War story, at once workaday and mythic, is one you’re loath to leave even when the story has come to its close.”
Austin Chronicle

“This perfect historical novel is made of the most alluring ingredients…Lara Prescott brilliantly portrays how a timeless novel like Doctor Zhivago can change course of history.”
—Aggie Zivaljevic, Kepler’s Books, for IndieNext List (September 2019)

“An intriguing and little-known chapter of literary history is brought to life with brio.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A “masterpiece.”
The Irish Examiner

“A real crowd pleaser.”
Amazon Books

“This powerhouse debut brings together historical spy craft, two sweeping love stories, and the true tale of the CIA’s use of Boris Pasternak’s seminal Doctor Zhivago to win Russian hearts and minds during the Cold War.”
Barnes & Noble

“If you’ve never read Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, you’ll want to after reading this stylish debut novel. It’s a fascinating fictionalisation of how the celebrated Russian author’s book came to be published, despite being banned by the Soviets. As two women from the CIA’s typing pool try to smuggle the masterpiece back into Russia, we realise the true power of a book to change history. Prescott delivers a multi-layered tale of drama behind the story.”
Woman & Home magazine

“A panoramic novel.”
Literary Review

“Superb entertainment…a perceptive exploration of women’s hearts, roles, and destinies in Eisenhower’s America and Khrushchev’s Soviet Union.”
Air Mail

“Prescott writes with astonishing assurance, enthralling readers with tales of secret agents and intrigue, love, and betrayal. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“This is a whirlwind of storytelling. The Secrets We Kept is a dazzling, beguiling debut.”
BookPage (starred review)

The Secrets We Kept is a sensational tale of spies, Soviet Russia and one extraordinary love affair…Prescott ties this world-spanning novel together with aplomb. With multiple narrators and two riveting but complicated plotlines set on opposite sides of the globe, The Secrets We Kept abounds with not only intrigue but also plenty of joy, heartbreak and, yes, humor.”
BookPage (from feature article)

“Prescott’s debut is an epic of passion, daring, and art. Part spy thriller, part intimate drama, The Secrets We Kept is the story of two women working for the government during tense days in the Cold War, enlisted for an audacious plot: smuggling Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago out of the Soviet Union and into worldwide publication.”
Dwyer Murphy, CrimeReads Managing Editor

“An eloquent, surprising read and highly recommended.”
LoveReading

“This won’t be like any spy novel you’ve read before.”
Bustle

“I loved this book.”
—Jenna Bush Hager

“Spy stories offer high reader appeal, and Prescott's debut far surpasses the typical genre fare…Through extensive research, Prescott artfully illuminates the CIA's role in helping disseminate the Soviet-banned Doctor Zhivago.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“The Secrets We Kept is simply sensational. From the gulags of the USSR to the cherry blossom trees of Washington DC, the story grips and refuses to let go. Lara Prescott is a star in the making.”
—Kate Quinn, Author of The Huntress and The Alice Network

“How does Lara Prescott manage to do so much in one book? The Secrets We Kept  is stylish, thrilling, smart, vivid, at once intimate and sweeping, dreamlike and true-to-life, with an unforgettable cast and story. This is a riveting novel about a riveting novel, a love story to love stories.”
—Elizabeth McCracken , Author of Bowlaway and more

“A spy novel, a love story, a slice of Cold War history – Lara Prescott’s ambitious The Secrets We Kept is provocative, haunting and a damn good read.”
—H.W. Brands, Author of The First American, Regan, The General vs. The President, and more

The Secrets We Kept is as lively and vivid a novel as even the most demanding reader could wish for: epic in scope, deliciously meaty with its array of characters and milieux, and utterly convincing in its treatment of Cold War espionage and intrigue. This marvelous novel reads like the work of a mid-career master; what a wonderful surprise, then, to realize it's the opening salvo from a supremely gifted debut novelist. Lara Prescott is the real deal, and the evidence is right here on every page.”
—Ben Fountain, Author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and more

“A riveting story of secrets, forbidden passions and the dark arts of espionage. I couldn’t put it down.
—Lisa Jewell, New York Times-bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and more

“What a fantastic novel The Secrets We Kept is. Thrilling, seductive and thoroughly compelling. Lara has created something really special. And it’s made me want to (re-)read Doctor Zhivago! I absolutely LOVED it!”
—Sarah Winman, Author of When God Was A Rabbit and Tin Man

“I was riveted by Lara Prescott’s new novel. I barely stirred from my chair for two days. How does one even begin to talk about this book? It’s all here—the KGB versus the CIA, the sexual office politics of Mad Men, a horrifying new look at the gulag, the tragic love affair between Boris Pasternak and his mistress, a brilliantly-drawn portrait of a time when a single book had the power to change history. I predict that The Secrets We Kept will be one of the most important books of 2019.”
—James Magnuson, Author of Famous Writers I Have Known

“One of the most unique and devastating novels I have read in years, The Secrets We Kept is smart, funny, full of passion and life. It has all the suspense of a hardboiled spy story, all the fervor of Cold War heartbreak, all the complexity of an award-winner, all the originality of a brilliant mind. A book for our times.”
—Deb Olin Unferth, Author of Wait Till You See Me Dance, Revolution, Minor Robberies, and more

“Lara Prescott’s The Secrets We Kept is trenchant, timely, and compulsively readable. The book thrillingly recalls the period detail of Mad Men, the complex characters of Patricia Highsmith, and the satisfying plots of John le Carre, but ultimately it’s Prescott’s distinctive voice and vision that feel most stirring and relevant. This is a first-rate novel, and it signals the arrival of a major new writer.”
—Bret Anthony Johnston, Director of the Michener Center for Writers

“Lara Prescott’s sweeping debut breathes new life into the story behind on of the world’s great works of literature, Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. The Secrets We Kept  harkens back to the Cold War, delving into the labor camps of Stalin’s Russia, Washington D.C. in the early days of the CIA, the lives of the author, his mistress and an international cast of characters whose lives are all touched by the magic of poetry and prose. In our world where words have arguably lost all meaning, Lara Prescott’s timeless tale of intrigue, romance and espionage, is a much needed salve, reminding us of the formidable power of great literature.”
—Aline Ohanesian, Author of Orhan’s Inheritance

“I loved this book. So vivid and engaging. A joy to read a story about spies that has lots of women in active roles.”
—Cathy Rentzenbrink, bestselling author of The Last Act of Love and more

“A fascinating story, so cleverly told, of the long chain of people who helped to bring Pasternak’s masterpiece into the world. I gulped it down.”
—Gill Hornby, author of The Hive