The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 9 Critic Reviews



Internationally-acclaimed author Helen Dunmore follows her bestselling novel, The Siege, with a riveting and emotionally absorbing portrait of post-war Soviet Russia, a world of violence and terror, where the severest acts of betrayal can come from the most trusted allies.

In 1952 Leningrad, Andrei, a young doctor, and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together in the postwar, post-siege wreckage. But they know their happiness is precarious, like that of millions of Russians who must avoid the claws of Stalin’s merciless Ministry of State Security. When Andrei is forced to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer, his every move is scrutinized, and it becomes painfully clear that his own fate, and that of his family, is bound to the child’s. Trapped in an impossible game of life and death, and pitted against a power-mad father’s raging grief, Andrei and Anna must avoid the whispers and watchful eyes of those who will say or do anything to save themselves.

With The Betrayal, Dunmore returns with a powerful and stirring novel of ordinary people in the grip of a terrible and sinister regime, and an evocative tale of a love that will not be silenced.

About Helen Dunmore

See more books from this Author
Helen Dunmore is the author of eleven novels, including The Betrayal, a New York Times Editors' Choice; The Siege, a national best seller and finalist for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; and A Spell of Winter, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction.
Published September 6, 2011 by Grove Press, Black Cat. 331 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Betrayal

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In her sequel to The Siege (2002, etc.), Dunmore returns to Leningrad in 1952, compressing the anxiety and terror of the postwar Stalinist years into the intimate details of one family's crisis.

Aug 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Dunmore revisits Stalin's Leningrad in a powerful novel set a decade after The Siege. It's 1952 and Andrei Alekseyev; his wife, Anna Levina, a nursery school teacher; and her younger brother, Kolya (k

Jul 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Dunmore covers all the bases – Anna draws for pleasure, her father was a banned writer, his friend Marina was an actress, Kolya plays the piano, Julia was a dancer and her husband is a film-maker – but while many pages are devoted to Anna's efforts to hide her father's papers in the garden, there...

May 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

The Telegraph

The diagnosis is ominous – a malignant .

Apr 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

The Telegraph

In that earlier novel, Anna was the daughter of a dissident .

Apr 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

The Bookbag

The sweating Russov manages to inveigle Andrei Aleksayev into treating a very sick child, Gorya, the son of Volkhov, who is a tyrannical and high ranking secret police officer.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

Washington Independent Review of Books

The interrogation that Andrei endures, his dignified stand for truth and the fierce survival instinct of the Russian people as rendered by Dunmore reminds us that good literature is often the most enduring testament to the painful realities of history.

Sep 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

The New Yorker

Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925

Nov 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

Curious Book Fans

The characters of Anna and Andrei are a little colourless and in Kolya, who is now presented as a surly young lad who wants to hang out drinking with his friends, there’s a wasted opportunity to develop what could be an interesting character because the reader only hears second hand what he’s bee...

Jan 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Betrayal

Reader Rating for The Betrayal

An aggregated and normalized score based on 23 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review