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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Betrayal - Helen Dunmore Book at Bedtime R4. Yet again, the more I want to engage with a book the more it fails to live up to expectations. Such a shallow premise here.blurb - In her latest novel, The Betrayal, Helen Dunmore returns to the Soviet Union, and to the city of Leningrad whose history she so powerfully evoked in her best-seller The Siege. Now, a decade later, starvation and bitter cold have been replaced with fear and suspicion, as the people of Leningrad do their best to keep their heads down and their lives unremarkable in an era of accusations, arrests and the midnight knock at the door. Anna and Andrei have survived the siege, married and together have brought up Anna's brother Kolya. They want their lives to be ordinary - but when the son of a senior secret police official is admitted to the hospital where Andrei is a paediatrican, Andrei finds himself outmanoeuvred by the more politically astute and face to face with a man who has the power to destroy him and his family.Helen Dunmore's evocative portrait of one couple living in the shadow of Stalin conveys both the sense of all pervading menace, from neighbours, from colleagues, from the state, and the struggle to remain humane and true in the face of it. As the net tightens around Andrei and his life becomes the stuff of nightmares, she also tells a compelling and page-turning tale.Helen Dunmore is a novelist and short story writer whose many works include 'A Spell of Winter', winner of the Orange Prize and 'The Siege' which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize and has sold over 100,000 copies. The Reader is Sara Kestelman, who also read The Siege in 2001 for Book at Bedtime. The abridger is Sally Marmion and the producer is Di Speirs.