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The Soviet Sisters

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From the bestselling author of The German Heiress, Anika Scott, comes a gripping new historical novel filled with secrets, lies, and betrayals, following two spy sisters in the years after WWII, perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff. Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist idea From the bestselling author of The German Heiress, Anika Scott, comes a gripping new historical novel filled with secrets, lies, and betrayals, following two spy sisters in the years after WWII, perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff. Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist ideals, and loyal to Stalin. Several years after fighting on the Eastern front, both women find themselves deep in the mire of conflicts shaping a new world order in 1947 Berlin. When Marya, an interpreter, gets entangled in Vera’s cryptic web of deceit and betrayal, she must make desperate choices to survive—and protect those she loves. Nine years later, Marya is a prisoner in a Siberian work camp when Vera, a doyenne of the KGB, has cause to reopen her case file and investigate the facts behind her sister's conviction all those years ago in Berlin. As Vera retraces the steps that brought them both to that pivotal moment in 1947, she unravels unexpected truths and discoveries that call into question the very history the Soviets were working hard to cover up. Epic and intimate, layered and complex, The Soviet Sisters is a gripping story of spies, blackmail, and double, triple bluff. With her dexterous plotting and talent for teasing out moral ambiguity, Anika Scott expertly portrays a story about love, conflicting world views, and loyalty and betrayal between sisters.


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From the bestselling author of The German Heiress, Anika Scott, comes a gripping new historical novel filled with secrets, lies, and betrayals, following two spy sisters in the years after WWII, perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff. Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist idea From the bestselling author of The German Heiress, Anika Scott, comes a gripping new historical novel filled with secrets, lies, and betrayals, following two spy sisters in the years after WWII, perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff. Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist ideals, and loyal to Stalin. Several years after fighting on the Eastern front, both women find themselves deep in the mire of conflicts shaping a new world order in 1947 Berlin. When Marya, an interpreter, gets entangled in Vera’s cryptic web of deceit and betrayal, she must make desperate choices to survive—and protect those she loves. Nine years later, Marya is a prisoner in a Siberian work camp when Vera, a doyenne of the KGB, has cause to reopen her case file and investigate the facts behind her sister's conviction all those years ago in Berlin. As Vera retraces the steps that brought them both to that pivotal moment in 1947, she unravels unexpected truths and discoveries that call into question the very history the Soviets were working hard to cover up. Epic and intimate, layered and complex, The Soviet Sisters is a gripping story of spies, blackmail, and double, triple bluff. With her dexterous plotting and talent for teasing out moral ambiguity, Anika Scott expertly portrays a story about love, conflicting world views, and loyalty and betrayal between sisters.

30 review for The Soviet Sisters

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erika Robuck

    Crackling with tension and rife with traitors, one thing is clear in post-WWII Berlin: trust no one. With expertise, Anika Scott delves into the complex labyrinth of women and men attempting to break free from the shackles of ideology and rise from the embers of war to build a better future for themselves and the world. THE SOVIET SISTERS is espionage fiction at its finest.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Soviet Sisters by Anika Scott is an excellent WWII/post WWII era historical fiction that has it all: history, suspense, mystery, intrigue, twists and turns, amd surprises that helped keep me interested from beginning to end. I loved it! I really enjoyed Ms. Scott’s previous book, The German Heiress, so i was keen on reading this book as well. And what a gem! Alternating between two different timelines, two different sisters, really kept my mind turning and whirling trying to figure out what The Soviet Sisters by Anika Scott is an excellent WWII/post WWII era historical fiction that has it all: history, suspense, mystery, intrigue, twists and turns, amd surprises that helped keep me interested from beginning to end. I loved it! I really enjoyed Ms. Scott’s previous book, The German Heiress, so i was keen on reading this book as well. And what a gem! Alternating between two different timelines, two different sisters, really kept my mind turning and whirling trying to figure out what details were actually correct, and which details were part of the “shaded” truth. Entering into the minds of each sister, Vera and Marya, purposely kept some of the truths and plot points vague so as to not reveal too much at one time. It really gave me a better understanding of the confusion, political intrigue, double crossings, and the high stakes that were present in the post-war/Cold War atmosphere. The questions that were carried through on what really did happen, and where did loyalty really fall, were finally revealed at the end, and made for a very gripping and addictive narrative. It was very unique and I highly recommend it for any historical fiction fan. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Duckworth Books for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 7/14/22.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Louise Fein

    I gobbled up this book in just a few sittings, and found it thoroughly immersive and compelling! This is a masterful novel, brilliantly plotted and I was gripped from the first pages, never knowing which of the sisters’ first person narratives to trust, or what would happen next. Cleverly playing on concepts of truth, ideology and loyalty, the characters are put to ultimate tests of morality. Immaculately researched, eloquently written, the reader gains a very clear sense of the tension and poli I gobbled up this book in just a few sittings, and found it thoroughly immersive and compelling! This is a masterful novel, brilliantly plotted and I was gripped from the first pages, never knowing which of the sisters’ first person narratives to trust, or what would happen next. Cleverly playing on concepts of truth, ideology and loyalty, the characters are put to ultimate tests of morality. Immaculately researched, eloquently written, the reader gains a very clear sense of the tension and political complexity of the time in which the characters had to navigate their lives. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Martin

    The Soviet Sisters takes you on a journey of twisting espionage, unexpected betrayal, and the internal war between sisterhood and patriotism. Anika Scott has a gift for weaving incredibly researched historical detail into an emotionally powerful story that left me with tears in my eyes. Historical fiction fans will love this book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Soviet Sisters by Anika Scott is an excellent WWII/post WWII era historical fiction that has it all: history, suspense, mystery, intrigue, twists and turns, amd surprises that helped keep me interested from beginning to end. I loved it! I really enjoyed Ms. Scott’s previous book, The German Heiress, so i was keen on reading this book as well. And what a gem! Alternating between two different timelines, two different sisters, really kept my mind turning and whirling trying to figure out what The Soviet Sisters by Anika Scott is an excellent WWII/post WWII era historical fiction that has it all: history, suspense, mystery, intrigue, twists and turns, amd surprises that helped keep me interested from beginning to end. I loved it! I really enjoyed Ms. Scott’s previous book, The German Heiress, so i was keen on reading this book as well. And what a gem! Alternating between two different timelines, two different sisters, really kept my mind turning and whirling trying to figure out what details were actually correct, and which details were part of the “shaded” truth. Entering into the minds of each sister, Vera and Marya, purposely kept some of the truths and plot points vague so as to not reveal too much at one time. It really gave me a better understanding of the confusion, political intrigue, double crossings, and the high stakes that were present in the post-war/Cold War atmosphere. The questions that were carried through on what really did happen, and where did loyalty really fall, were finally revealed at the end, and made for a very gripping and addictive narrative. It was very unique and I highly recommend it for any historical fiction fan. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Duckworth Books for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 7/14/22.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Vdplaats

    Initially, I gave the novel 5 stars, but it is merely because I absolutely loved the second half of the book; when I was completely immersed in the story and kept on reading because I wanted to know the ending. I found the beginning and the midsection a bit boring, far-fetched and contrived, like a pick-the-traitor game. Part of the story is a prelude to the Berlin crisis of 1958-1959 (which eventually would escalate in the erection of the most iconic image of the Cold War: the Wall; the other t Initially, I gave the novel 5 stars, but it is merely because I absolutely loved the second half of the book; when I was completely immersed in the story and kept on reading because I wanted to know the ending. I found the beginning and the midsection a bit boring, far-fetched and contrived, like a pick-the-traitor game. Part of the story is a prelude to the Berlin crisis of 1958-1959 (which eventually would escalate in the erection of the most iconic image of the Cold War: the Wall; the other timeline are transcribed accounts, to prove the innocence of USSR citizen Marya, who was arrested for high treason in Berlin and sentenced to serve 15 years in a gulag, and going back to the events leading up to her arrest. The protagonists are more or less representative of the forces that determined the course of events.: the USSR sisters vs the Allied Powers, with Germany/Marlow right in center of this playing field. The author opted for a character-driven story about love, and betrayal, however, I feel there was more to be had. The author barely addresses major events, and I think she could have given a little more background information on a divided Berlin. I know the city well, but why use Friedrichstraße, when the whole world knows this as Checkpoint Charlie? I feel that a map of Berlin would have been useful, - Treptow (park), Tiergarten, Tegel, et&t - that means nothing to people who don't know Berlin. I found the ending disappointing, it left too many unanswered for. How can one be so forgiving? Sadly, and imho, Mayra's betrayal is more severe than that of her sister, and I am baffled Henry would take her back… The aspect with the fairy tale book made me feel uneasy: I wonder if readers are aware that 'fairytale books' (most likely Grimm's Kinder-und Hausmärchen) were mandatory items for any German family in Nazi Germany, as part of Nazi propaganda; putting Marlow's downfall in a whole new and more powerful light.... Albeit, since the author mentions these issues only in passing, the book loses power and depth, and remains a bit superficial and romanticized. If you read this as is, it's a quick, immersive and emotional read, for me it was a good read, yet I feel there was more to be had. Recommended, 4 stars. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for this arc. I leave this review voluntarily.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Hodge

    Vera is a senior official in the KGB. Her sister Marya is imprisoned in a Siberian gulag. In THE SOVIET SISTERS, the two recount the events of 1947 Berlin that forced them down such disparate paths. Part spy story, part mystery, this is a story of love and betrayal, loyalty and ideology. I was immediately immersed in this meticulously researched saga and thoroughly enjoyed it. Readers of historical fiction should leap to put this on their TBR list.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I read a lot of WWII fiction about female contributions to the war effort, but they are normally from a Western view. This was the first time I’ve found a truly engaging story from the Soviet perspective, and also one set during the time after the treaty was signed in Berlin. I did not realize how much I was learning from the fresh perspective as I went through these post-war experiences with the two sisters. Definitely recommended!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Small

    2.5/5 This really read like the author wrote the first few chapters and submitted them, got an acceptance, and proceeded to rush the rest of the book. It had such a strong start it was really disappointing for how the entirety collapsed on itself. The writing jumps back and forth between two sisters of are on different sides of Soviet Union fanatic thinking and ultimately plays with the idea of unreliable narrators. However, the author shoots down the originally complex storyline by undermining i 2.5/5 This really read like the author wrote the first few chapters and submitted them, got an acceptance, and proceeded to rush the rest of the book. It had such a strong start it was really disappointing for how the entirety collapsed on itself. The writing jumps back and forth between two sisters of are on different sides of Soviet Union fanatic thinking and ultimately plays with the idea of unreliable narrators. However, the author shoots down the originally complex storyline by undermining itself constantly. Half the times you’re told “so and so is stringing you along/ must be a spy” and shockingly, so and so is in fact doing exactly what the book tells you early on- reducing any shock value. The ending felt flat, the characters never truly clarified themselves, and the reasoning for the one sister in Siberia feels less incredible by the time the book is over.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wendy(Wendyreadsbooks) Robey

    Deceit and loyalty - strange bedfellows in this fascinating story of the role of two sisters in the Soviet district of Berlin during world war 2. Marya and Vera are so different as sisters and I must admit it was difficult at times to work out who was telling the truth - whose story was more credible? This is certainly a page turner - I was gripped trying to work out what Marya had done and who had betrayed her. Her relationship with Vera was so complex and some of the decisions both of the siste Deceit and loyalty - strange bedfellows in this fascinating story of the role of two sisters in the Soviet district of Berlin during world war 2. Marya and Vera are so different as sisters and I must admit it was difficult at times to work out who was telling the truth - whose story was more credible? This is certainly a page turner - I was gripped trying to work out what Marya had done and who had betrayed her. Her relationship with Vera was so complex and some of the decisions both of the sisters took were difficult to rationalise. The double and sometime triple bluffing in the world of espionage needed some concentration and I felt for Marya completely as she was caught in the web of deceit from all sides.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    What a fast paced and enjoyable historical fiction! I really enjoyed this one and really loved Maryas character and her story with Henry. Vera however... I'm not convinced on. Defo recommend! What a fast paced and enjoyable historical fiction! I really enjoyed this one and really loved Maryas character and her story with Henry. Vera however... I'm not convinced on. Defo recommend!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jo

    Intense and complicated. I struggled a bit to stay on course with all the cross, double cross, triple cross intrigue but found it was a satisfying historical novel of a time period I didn't know much about. Intense and complicated. I struggled a bit to stay on course with all the cross, double cross, triple cross intrigue but found it was a satisfying historical novel of a time period I didn't know much about.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This was a really captivating story!!! Two Soviet sisters, two completely different personalities, one of them might be a spy, or are both of them spies? Can love play a role in their life? Dare they have a private life? Or is the Soviet Union more important than individuals? Quite an emotional read that got me thinking, that made me angry and sad as well. I really really enjoyed it! I received this novel as a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review from NetGalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways A very solid good read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I should have loved this book. I really enjoy fiction about the USSR. As I started reading, I enjoyed the 2 timeline format. In one timeline Marya is with her British boyfriend in Berlin. Is she the spy or is he or both of them? This is the mystery. In the second timeline, Vera is testifying about her sister's actions in an effort to uncover the truth about whether or not Marya is a traitor to the USSR. BTW, Marya is rotting in Siberia for crimes she may or may not have committed. About 25-30% i I should have loved this book. I really enjoy fiction about the USSR. As I started reading, I enjoyed the 2 timeline format. In one timeline Marya is with her British boyfriend in Berlin. Is she the spy or is he or both of them? This is the mystery. In the second timeline, Vera is testifying about her sister's actions in an effort to uncover the truth about whether or not Marya is a traitor to the USSR. BTW, Marya is rotting in Siberia for crimes she may or may not have committed. About 25-30% into the book, the story really slowed down. I got bored. The story was apparently supposed to be somewhat confusing as nobody really knew who was spying on whom and who was guilty of what. I felt the confusion was overdone. At about 60% I considered skipping to the last couple of chapters to find out what happened. Instead, I decided to skim. At 80%, the book became engrossing. The mystery unraveled, and it was very interesting. Plenty double and triple crosses to keep the reader engaged and guessing. I wish the rest of the book could have been so fascinating. If you get bored and want to give up, skip ahead and read the last 20%. It's really worth it. Maybe readers who enjoy a slower burn will like the bulk of this story more than I did. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Monson

    I really enjoyed exploring this odd relationship between sisters, and I was thoroughly intrigued to learn what had really happened in Berlin. However, despite the chapters being dated, I had a hard time keeping track of the timeline in order because certain assertions by characters seemed to contradict the timeline. Perhaps I’m too trusting to read spy novels, but frankly, I had a hard time with the layers of deceit. Since both sisters told their stories in the first person, I never knew who to I really enjoyed exploring this odd relationship between sisters, and I was thoroughly intrigued to learn what had really happened in Berlin. However, despite the chapters being dated, I had a hard time keeping track of the timeline in order because certain assertions by characters seemed to contradict the timeline. Perhaps I’m too trusting to read spy novels, but frankly, I had a hard time with the layers of deceit. Since both sisters told their stories in the first person, I never knew who to trust, who was telling the truth, which just compounded my confusion when their stories contradicted each other. It was certainly an interesting story told in a compelling way, but even now, I’m not sure that I fully understand it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Olesya Gilmore

    THE SOVIET SISTERS is a relentless historical literary thriller, taking apart the lives of two sisters from Soviet Russia and putting them back together in an emotionally compelling, breathtaking conclusion. I am from Moscow, Russia, and I read an early draft of this novel for a sensitivity read. I was impressed with Scott's meticulous attention to historical and cultural detail, her respect and fascination for the Russian culture (and eagerness to learn and ask questions of what she did not kno THE SOVIET SISTERS is a relentless historical literary thriller, taking apart the lives of two sisters from Soviet Russia and putting them back together in an emotionally compelling, breathtaking conclusion. I am from Moscow, Russia, and I read an early draft of this novel for a sensitivity read. I was impressed with Scott's meticulous attention to historical and cultural detail, her respect and fascination for the Russian culture (and eagerness to learn and ask questions of what she did not know), and her ability to understand the often subtle psychological, societal, and political influences on the people of the time. Scott is also not afraid to explore the more risky and controversial topics of society, especially in a time period that is, by its very nature, risky and controversial already. She is fearless, in her views and in her writing, which makes for a wonderfully unexpected plot, along with characters that push it so ruthlessly forward. The sisters, Marya and Vera, are foils of each other; one is emotional and loving, the other more cold and withdrawn. They grow up together only to grow apart; they have different ideologies, different hopes and dreams for their future, and different views of what life should be and on Communist Russia itself. But when Marya ends up a prisoner in a Siberian work camp, the question arises: will Vera save her despite their differences and despite all the reasons not to? The structure of the novel is complex and engaging, alternating between the sisters' points of view, from Russia to Berlin, from the past to the present, and back again. The pace of the story is brisk without giving up quality, the historical time period well-researched, exciting, and filled with secrets and spies that somehow still strike home and have a modern, relatable feel. One of my favorite aspects of Scott's writing is the way she is able to get you invested in her characters while also doubting who they are, completely unsure of what they will do or how they will act in any given situation, which leads to a deliciously heart-pounding reading experience. But at the heart of this story and this book are the two sisters, living under an incredibly dangerous regime in an uncertain world and, despite it all, willing to risk their way back to each other. An emotional, thrilling ride. Can't recommend this book and this author enough!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Teagan

    I loved this so much I read it in a few days! I found myself talking about it to my friends, and they could comment back, incorporating what we all remembered from our history classes in school/what we have read about the Cold War, KGB, Berlin – so it opened up a lot of wonderful and in-depth conversations. And, it was fun bringing in personal views from the characters of this book (it gives history a better depth when you see it from a personal/daily lifestyle standpoint). I also found myself l I loved this so much I read it in a few days! I found myself talking about it to my friends, and they could comment back, incorporating what we all remembered from our history classes in school/what we have read about the Cold War, KGB, Berlin – so it opened up a lot of wonderful and in-depth conversations. And, it was fun bringing in personal views from the characters of this book (it gives history a better depth when you see it from a personal/daily lifestyle standpoint). I also found myself looking up events and places from the book on historical websites, which was fun and fascinating. My knowledge of the Cold War, what people went through, what they might have incorrectly/correctly believed at the time, has really grown due to the interesting way Scott wrote The Soviet Sisters. I enjoy when a book can captivate me like that and encourage me to think more. I also think what made it so interesting to me, is the depth into the sisters’ two psyches and beliefs. Even having been raised in the same household, they still tapped into their unique personalities to build their own worlds based on morals, love, and how they saw freedom. Did they end up similar or different? I won’t tell here! But the way that Anika builds her characters was fabulously done and reflects people and families in general. I appreciated and understood both sisters. Having the espionage complexity mixed into the story really kept me on my toes and is what made it such a page turner. Thank you, Goodreads Giveaways, for providing me with a free copy to read. I had never read a spy thriller before, and Anika Scott has me hooked now! She’s a great writer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Whitney | girlmama_and_books

    So there’s plenty of HF covering WWII but not as much on the Cold War, so this one offered something different to learn about. Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist ideals, and loyal to Stalin. Several years after fighting on the Eastern front, both women find themselves deep in the mire of conflicts shaping a new world order in 1947 Berlin. When Marya, an interpreter, gets entangled in Vera’s cryptic web So there’s plenty of HF covering WWII but not as much on the Cold War, so this one offered something different to learn about. Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist ideals, and loyal to Stalin. Several years after fighting on the Eastern front, both women find themselves deep in the mire of conflicts shaping a new world order in 1947 Berlin. When Marya, an interpreter, gets entangled in Vera’s cryptic web of deceit and betrayal, she must make desperate choices to survive—and protect those she loves. Nine years later, Marya is a prisoner in a Siberian work camp when Vera, a doyenne of the KGB, has cause to reopen her case file and investigate the facts behind her sister's conviction all those years ago in Berlin. As Vera retraces the steps that brought them both to that pivotal moment in 1947, she unravels unexpected truths and discoveries that call into question the very history the Soviets were working hard to cover up. I will say I struggled to understand the complex relationship these sisters had, and there was so many layers of secrets I had no idea most of the time what the truth was, to the point that I found parents honestly confusing until closer to the end. I thought the second half of the book was much stronger than the first. I paired this with the audiobook, which I enjoyed…. But needed the book to keep track of what timeline and who was talking… a bit confusing at times. Thank you for the #gifted copy @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks 

  20. 4 out of 5

    Annie Aquino

    ✨𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙏𝙤𝙪𝙧, 𝙁𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚 & 𝙍𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬✨⁣ ⁣ 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙤𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙩 𝙎𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙗𝙮 𝘼𝙣𝙞𝙠𝙖 𝙎𝙘𝙤𝙩𝙩⁣ ⁣ Pub Date: July 12, 2022⁣ ⁣ Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks 𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗼𝗽𝘀𝗶𝘀: ⁣ ⁣ Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist ideals, and loyal to Stalin. Several years after fighting on the Eastern front, both women find themselves deep in the mire of conflicts shaping a new world order in 1947 Berlin. When Marya, an interpreter, gets ✨𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙏𝙤𝙪𝙧, 𝙁𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚 & 𝙍𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬✨⁣ ⁣ 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙤𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙩 𝙎𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙗𝙮 𝘼𝙣𝙞𝙠𝙖 𝙎𝙘𝙤𝙩𝙩⁣ ⁣ Pub Date: July 12, 2022⁣ ⁣ Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks 𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗼𝗽𝘀𝗶𝘀: ⁣ ⁣ Sisters Vera and Marya were brought up as good Soviets: obedient despite hardships of poverty and tragedy, committed to communist ideals, and loyal to Stalin. Several years after fighting on the Eastern front, both women find themselves deep in the mire of conflicts shaping a new world order in 1947 Berlin. When Marya, an interpreter, gets entangled in Vera’s cryptic web of deceit and betrayal, she must make desperate choices to survive—and protect those she loves.⁣ ⁣ Nine years later, Marya is a prisoner in a Siberian work camp when Vera, a doyenne of the KGB, has cause to reopen her case file and investigate the facts behind her sister's conviction all those years ago in Berlin. As Vera retraces the steps that brought them both to that pivotal moment in 1947, she unravels unexpected truths and discoveries that call into question the very history the Soviets were working hard to cover up.⁣ ⁣ 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄:⁣ 4.5/5 🍷 ⁣ I am not typically into historical fiction but I found myself enjoying this book much more than I ever thought! I was hooked, both sisters are strong female characters and I was constantly questioning POV I could trust.⁣

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samadhee Ismail

    If you are a history buff or obsessed with historical fiction based on Cold War Events, then this book is one for you. Vera and Marya are sisters and are devoted to their Soviet government despite all the hardships and despair they were facing as a family. Then Marya moves to Berlin, where she works as an interpreter and falls in love with a British man named Henry. Somehow, Marya ends up being imprisoned in Gulag, a notorious prison in the heart of Siberia and is a prison for war criminals and w If you are a history buff or obsessed with historical fiction based on Cold War Events, then this book is one for you. Vera and Marya are sisters and are devoted to their Soviet government despite all the hardships and despair they were facing as a family. Then Marya moves to Berlin, where she works as an interpreter and falls in love with a British man named Henry. Somehow, Marya ends up being imprisoned in Gulag, a notorious prison in the heart of Siberia and is a prison for war criminals and when the Stalin government changes, Vera would do anything to save her sister from the horrors of the prison. This was a very different type of novel that I have read. The writing was great and the story is told between past back in 1947 when Marya was having a love affair with a British soldier and present day when Vera wants to find answers about her sister's arrest. The story is also a bit political as well as Vera herself along with her husband works for the Soviet government. The author manage to show the complex relationship between Vera and Marya and also the affair between Marya and Henry. The ending was really good. Overall, if you like a historical fiction with a Russian setting and based on Cold War then this one is for you--worth four stars. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

  22. 4 out of 5

    historic_chronicles

    Set between 1947 and 1956 we follow the story of two Russian sisters. Vera is a senior official in the KGB while Marya, an interpreter for the Russian intelligence, has been imprisoned in the Gulag for treason. Right from the offset this was an immersive and thrilling plot. I was fully invested from the very first chapter. The use of alternating timelines and chapters giving different points of view between Vera and Marya heightened the emotion and tension and many times I often wondered how relia Set between 1947 and 1956 we follow the story of two Russian sisters. Vera is a senior official in the KGB while Marya, an interpreter for the Russian intelligence, has been imprisoned in the Gulag for treason. Right from the offset this was an immersive and thrilling plot. I was fully invested from the very first chapter. The use of alternating timelines and chapters giving different points of view between Vera and Marya heightened the emotion and tension and many times I often wondered how reliable our narrators were as betrayals and deception unfolded at every turn. The author masterfully creates complex characters and intricate web-like relationships between them adding to a multilayered plot. It is also clearly meticulously researched in the subject, especially showing strength in the areas of the tensions between the Ally Nations after the Second World War in Berlin and the complex political espionage that followed. What this leaves us with is a rich, thought-provoking novel considering the precarious balance of patriotism and private lives written in a beautiful prose with highly memorable characters. Thank you to @duck_books for sending me a copy of this novel to review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paradise

    The period just after the Second World War isn’t one of which I’m particularly familiar. That said, I’ve read a few books about it this year to fill that gap and learned a lot. The Soviet Sisters takes a slightly different approach, looking at two Russian sisters who find themselves in Berlin after the war. Is blood really thicker than water? This book started off well, setting the scene nicely and drawing me in to the lives of the two sisters. Unfortunately it gradually lost my interest, as the l The period just after the Second World War isn’t one of which I’m particularly familiar. That said, I’ve read a few books about it this year to fill that gap and learned a lot. The Soviet Sisters takes a slightly different approach, looking at two Russian sisters who find themselves in Berlin after the war. Is blood really thicker than water? This book started off well, setting the scene nicely and drawing me in to the lives of the two sisters. Unfortunately it gradually lost my interest, as the language was extremely formal and the story overall was long-winded. Both sisters are unreliable narrators and not very likeable. There are a lot of characters, different ‘evidence’ and accounts, which require a lot more attention than I’d like in a fictional book. My mind kept wandering and eventually I skim read the last few chapters. It was interesting and well-researched, but somehow just didn’t capture my attention after the first quarter of the book. Perhaps it was the author’s intention, but the whole book feels like a formal write up of two people’s live; it was devoid of emotion and empathy, so I couldn’t relate. I also expected a big reveal to occur so found the ending disappointing. Overall, it’s not a bad book, but reads more like a fact-filled autobiography than a work of fiction.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lady

    This is a brilliant story with I thoroughly enjoyed. I tried so hard to read this book in one day and failed with 30 mins of reading left I just couldn't stay awake long enough. It was a very exciting story who end up on completely different sides during the WW2 and the years after including after stalin. This became a very fascinating read and very unpredictable. This story was very well wrote at a medium to fast pace. I loved the development of the story and the 2 sisters characters especially This is a brilliant story with I thoroughly enjoyed. I tried so hard to read this book in one day and failed with 30 mins of reading left I just couldn't stay awake long enough. It was a very exciting story who end up on completely different sides during the WW2 and the years after including after stalin. This became a very fascinating read and very unpredictable. This story was very well wrote at a medium to fast pace. I loved the development of the story and the 2 sisters characters especially on what was going to happen if the 2 sisters should meet again eek great build up. It was probably my fault it didn't get the 5th star as either the pace of the book slowed in the middle or I just switched off and lost my way a bit I don't know. But I missed some of the story but soon got back on track for a very exciting finish full of twists and turns and some shocking events where your jaw is likely to hit the floor . I definitely recommend you give this book ago if your a fan of historical fiction as im sure you won't be disappointed. Only the highest praise goes out to the author and publishers for creating such an amazing read. I will definitely be looking out for more books by this fantastic author.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    A twisty tale of love and betrayal in post-War Berlin. Marya and Vera were shaped by Stalin's forces - Marya's facility with languages led to a job translating German while Vera became an officer of the secret police. When the novel opens in 1956, Vera is examining the evidence that sent Marya to Siberia in 1947. Their stories, their entwined lives, unfold slowly and with a sense of growing menace and they each offer their perspective. Marya is in love with a British officer and Vera wants to us A twisty tale of love and betrayal in post-War Berlin. Marya and Vera were shaped by Stalin's forces - Marya's facility with languages led to a job translating German while Vera became an officer of the secret police. When the novel opens in 1956, Vera is examining the evidence that sent Marya to Siberia in 1947. Their stories, their entwined lives, unfold slowly and with a sense of growing menace and they each offer their perspective. Marya is in love with a British officer and Vera wants to use that relationship. But she also wants something else- no spoilers- from someone Marya once knew. This is very much as cat and mouse game between the sisters, with Vera's ambition and greed forcing much of the action. Even veteran readers of this genre might find the twists a little confusing but they are emblematic of the period. To her credit, Scott has included some important political details which don't necessarily add to the story but increase the atmospherics and the reader's knowledge of the USSR. Thanks to edelweiss for the ARC. Very good historical fiction.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Wow, the Soviet Sisters is quite the page-turner. Set in post-war Berlin, sisters, Vera and Marya, are loyal Soviets. This captivating historical novel spotlights the ruthlessness of the Soviet system and what its devout citizens are capable of. Scott does a masterful job of characterizing Vera and Marya. She tells their stories by juxtaposing chapters between the sisters and time periods. This format really amps up the mystery. One of my "tests" to the quality of writing, is to examine the first Wow, the Soviet Sisters is quite the page-turner. Set in post-war Berlin, sisters, Vera and Marya, are loyal Soviets. This captivating historical novel spotlights the ruthlessness of the Soviet system and what its devout citizens are capable of. Scott does a masterful job of characterizing Vera and Marya. She tells their stories by juxtaposing chapters between the sisters and time periods. This format really amps up the mystery. One of my "tests" to the quality of writing, is to examine the first paragraph of the book for its "sense of place." Scott hit it out of the park. "We're like marionettes joined by the sleeves, women made of wood. ... When I move, the ice cracks in the fibers of my coat." To avoid giving away too much of the complex, multi-layered mystery, I'll just say that that this book is one of the very best I've read in several months. Grab a copy! You will agree.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jill Rowlinson

    Moscow in 1956 just after the death of Stalin, Vera, a high-ranking Soviet official starts to look into the arrest of her sister, Marya, who is in a prison camp in Siberia. Marya was arrested for spying in 1947. The story follows two timelines and narrators – Marya in Berlin in 1947 and Vera in 1956. At times I found the two separate accounts quite confusing but then this is a book about espionage. I was happy that my confusion was resolved by the end. The two sisters are very different characte Moscow in 1956 just after the death of Stalin, Vera, a high-ranking Soviet official starts to look into the arrest of her sister, Marya, who is in a prison camp in Siberia. Marya was arrested for spying in 1947. The story follows two timelines and narrators – Marya in Berlin in 1947 and Vera in 1956. At times I found the two separate accounts quite confusing but then this is a book about espionage. I was happy that my confusion was resolved by the end. The two sisters are very different characters and seem to have a love hate relationship. During the course of the book they find out shocking revelations about each other. The account of Berlin just after the war with the divisions and the different ways of life for the German population and each of the occupying forces, was fascinating. I also enjoyed the descriptions of life in Soviet Russia and the political turmoil after Stalin’s death were. Thanks to NetGalley and Duckworth Books for the ARC.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    The book is told from the alternating perspectives of sisters Marya and Vera. The sisters’ accounts of the events differ in ways that are often subtle but are enough to leave you wondering who the unreliable narrator is. Is it Marya? Vera? Or are both sisters playing with the truth to some degree? This also gives real depth to both women’s feelings of mistrust politically and personally, with the men in their lives and each other. The author reveals the story, layer by layer, never giving away t The book is told from the alternating perspectives of sisters Marya and Vera. The sisters’ accounts of the events differ in ways that are often subtle but are enough to leave you wondering who the unreliable narrator is. Is it Marya? Vera? Or are both sisters playing with the truth to some degree? This also gives real depth to both women’s feelings of mistrust politically and personally, with the men in their lives and each other. The author reveals the story, layer by layer, never giving away too much before its time, which really pushes the story's intensity. All of this makes for a tense and twisty plot that is difficult to put down—highly recommended! I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Becky Zagor

    WOW! A second success for Anika Scott! She sets the stage in post WW2 where Germany is under the jurisdiction of England, America and Russia and the lines are blurred when goals and priorities differ across Berlin. Two sisters have some striking differences but their paths in life intersect in a fabulous plot. Two very different men cause disturbances in their world and the secrets and intrigue just keep spiraling along in a fast paced novel. By the end you just aren't sure who is telling the tr WOW! A second success for Anika Scott! She sets the stage in post WW2 where Germany is under the jurisdiction of England, America and Russia and the lines are blurred when goals and priorities differ across Berlin. Two sisters have some striking differences but their paths in life intersect in a fabulous plot. Two very different men cause disturbances in their world and the secrets and intrigue just keep spiraling along in a fast paced novel. By the end you just aren't sure who is telling the truth and who is spying on whom. A terrific read for historical fiction and mystery fans alike. My thanks for a complimentary ARC from Goodreads for an author I admired from The German Heiress.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you Anika Scott! From the first paragraph The Soviet Sisters grabbed my attention and held it to the end! A story set in post WWI Germany in the years 1947 and 1956, about two Russian sisters and their struggles to be free. Vera, the older sister, and Marya, the younger, both set out to serve in the Russian army during the war. One a gifted translator, the other an intelligence officer. Their paths rarely cross until Berlin 1947 where their lies and I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you Anika Scott! From the first paragraph The Soviet Sisters grabbed my attention and held it to the end! A story set in post WWI Germany in the years 1947 and 1956, about two Russian sisters and their struggles to be free. Vera, the older sister, and Marya, the younger, both set out to serve in the Russian army during the war. One a gifted translator, the other an intelligence officer. Their paths rarely cross until Berlin 1947 where their lies and secrets begin to unravel. One accused of betraying her country, is the other her betrayer? Who is the real traitor and who did whatever she had to do to keep her sister's secret? Read The Soviet Sisters to find out the truth!

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