Red Joan

By Jennie Rooney,

Book cover of Red Joan

Book description

'If you loved William Boyd's Restless, you'll enjoy this' Viv Groskop, Red

Cambridge University in 1937 is awash with ideas and idealists - to unworldly Joan it is dazzling.

After a chance meeting with Russian-born Sonya and Leo, Joan is swept up in the glamour and energy of the duo,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Red Joan as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Based on the real-life story of Melita Norwood—a woman who in her eighties was unmasked as the KGB's longest-serving British spy—this novel really has it all: it’s a mystery, historical fiction, and a spy thriller.

It takes on complex and difficult questions around living out one’s values and the unintended consequences of doing so, and challenges a lot of the assumptions we tend to make about other people’s motives. Or even our own.

Inspired by the true story of Melita Norwood, who was exposed in 1999 as the KGB’s longest-running British spy, Red Joan is an enthralling novel that vividly reconstructs her life and explores with great authorial compassion her conflicting emotions and unsettling ambiguities as she is drawn deeper and deeper into atomic espionage by a college lover at the dawn of the Cold War.

From Seth's list on spies and radicals.

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