Updated: Jul 1, 2021
By Beatriz Williams
A Creative Story of Family Drama and Espionage
Iris and Ruth are twin sisters and spending the summer of 1940 with their brother, a foreign diplomat in Rome. As war threatens, the sisters prepared to leave Italy. But Iris has fallen madly in love with Sasha Digby, a United States Embassy official, and refuses to go with her sister. She marries Sasha, and in 1948, Iris, Sasha, and their two children shockingly disappear from their London home. Did Sasha’s communist leanings cause them to defect to the Soviet Union and become Soviet citizens, or did the KGB eliminate them?
Four years later, Ruth, who runs a New York modeling agency, receives a postcard from Iris asking for help. Ruth hasn’t seen or talked to Iris since they parted in Rome twelve years ago. When counterintelligence agent Sumner Fox visits Ruth, asking questions about Iris, Ruth begins to worry about her sister. Sumner and Ruth soon head to Moscow with a plan to extract the Digby’s from the Soviet Union. As the two sisters race toward freedom, they are apprehended by the KGB and forced to make an agonizing decision.
OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW was a most anticipated novel for the summer of 2021, and I understand why now that I’ve read it. Author Beatriz Williams expertly shifts between a family drama and a suspenseful espionage plot. She has captured a mesmerizing historical fiction story of a woman who brings down a Cold War spy ring.
Williams uses the true story of Donald Maclean and the Cambridge Five, a British spy ring who passed large amounts of information to the Soviet Union during and after World War II as the inspiration for the novel. The story is suspenseful, and the plot is enjoyably complicated.
Williams writing weaves a creative tale of family drama and espionage. The story alternates from three perspectives; Iris, Ruth, and a female KGB agent responsible for finding moles. All three of these female characters will astonish and surprise you with their courage, strength, and decisions.
Narrators Nicola Barber and Cassandra Campbell's voices align perfectly with the story. Their astute delivery brings the characters to life with the right pacing for a story with a slow build.
Published May 31, 2021
Narrated Nicola Barber, Cassandra Campbell