A Shadow in Moscow

Katherine Reay’s A Shadow in Moscow released today. I was privileged to read this remarkable women’s fiction tale early.

I have a “thing” for WWII literature, films and documentaries, and have read and watched many heartbreaking stories within that era of history. But I’m less familiar with the Cold War and the plight of the Russian people after the war. Ms Reay’s dual timeline espionage historical helped me understand more about this dark period in history.

This book alternates between Ingrid Bauer’s timeline, which starts in the 1950s, and Anya Kadinova’s in the 1980s. Both women navigate dangerous situations, sharing KGB secrets with the CIA and MI6 to protect their home until their timelines converge in an unprecedented mess of circumstances.

I was a fan of Ingrid from the beginning, feeling both sorrow and joy as she faced overwhelming challenges. Anja’s first scene jarred me, spurning an inescapable need to know what happened to her, so travelling back a few years filled that void. I won’t spoil things for you, but I sympathised with her struggles with love, the futility of her life, and the weight of expectations on her slight shoulders.

Ms Reay’s characterisation was magnificent. Few books have driven me from boiling point to fist-pumping to clutching a tissue within moments of each other. Her writing was a delight to read, even in the midst of tragedy.

I don’t think I’ve been this invested in a story in a long time.

Have you read a book which captured you, heart and soul? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

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