"A captivating Cold War page-turner." — Real Simple
The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives returns with a gripping and profoundly human story of Cold War espionage and family devotion.
In the autumn of 1948, Iris Digby vanishes from her London home with her American diplomat husband and their two children. The world is shocked by the family’s sensational disappearance. Were they eliminated by the Soviet intelligence service? Or have the Digbys defected to Moscow with a trove of the West’s most vital secrets?
Four years later, Ruth Macallister receives a postcard from the twin sister she hasn’t seen since their catastrophic parting in Rome in the summer of 1940, as war engulfed the continent and Iris fell desperately in love with an enigmatic United States Embassy official named Sasha Digby. Within days, Ruth is on her way to Moscow, posing as the wife of counterintelligence agent Sumner Fox in a precarious plot to extract the Digbys from behind the Iron Curtain.
But the complex truth behind Iris’s marriage defies Ruth’s understanding, and as the sisters race toward safety, a dogged Soviet KGB officer forces them to make a heartbreaking choice between two irreconcilable loyalties.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Our Woman in Moscow is a wickedly intelligent, female-centred take on the classic Cold War spy thriller. Twelve years after her twin sister, Iris, married an American diplomat—and four years after the couple disappeared behind the Iron Curtain—Ruth Macallister has given up hope of ever seeing Iris again. But when a pugnacious CIA agent appears on Ruth’s New York City doorstep with news that Iris and her children are in grave danger, Ruth is pulled into a high-stakes investigation. Beatriz Williams sets up enough close calls and chase sequences—including a breathless rush through a crowded train station—to keep you reading way past your bedtime. And we love how the author’s clever eye for details pays off repeatedly throughout the book. (We laughed out loud when we discovered the significance of one particular character’s flashy wardrobe.) With its mix of international intrigue, suspense, and swoony romance, Our Woman in Moscow is the thinking person’s beach read.
Williams (Her Last Flight) captivates with the story of an American woman's effort to reunite with her twin sister after her defection to the Soviet Union. In 1952, Ruth Macallister, a secretary in New York City and de facto manager of a modeling agency, receives a visit from FBI agent Sumner Fox with questions about her twin sister, Iris, whom she has not seen for 12 years. Sumner tells Ruth her sister defected to Russia in 1948 with her husband, Sasha Digby, a former diplomat who worked with the twins' brother at the U.S. embassy in Rome in 1940. Now that the KGB suspects Sasha of working as a double agent, the Digbys' lives are in danger. Sumner devises a plan to have Ruth travel to Moscow to help Iris during her pregnancy, and he will accompany her undercover as her spouse. Ruth and Sumner's efforts to extract the Digbys from the Soviet Union, however, are complicated by the KGB. Williams sharply observes the inequities women faced at the end of WWII and the simmering suspense of the Cold War. Historical fiction fans will be riveted by the complex family relationships and the intriguing portrayal of espionage.
Our Woman In Moscow
Chapters, while sometimes short, appear disjointed as they move from one character and time, to another. Artistic license perhaps!
A reminder of the different types of power
This book is told from the perspectives of different women, mostly a set of American twins, but periodically from a Russian communist. All very different and all very powerful. It’s a great reminder of the different lives women choose and how they can flex their muscles in their different roles. A very fun read.