I took some time and added some books to my audio library. It was a great thing to do over break. I had time to peruse the selections and hopefully find some good ones. I’ve been reading quite a bit of heavy things lately..Holocaust storied, sex trafficking stories. I was ready for just a story that didn’t make me think. I ended up picking up You Are One of Them: A Novel About Secrets, Betrayal, and the Friend Who Got Away by Elliot Holt.
This book had an underlying theme of Russia and the Cold War and what growing up during that time period would have entailed. I very much enjoyed that part. The story then takes the readers to Russia where a bit of a mystery lies. Is the girl in Russia the same girl that grew up as a neighbor next door? Sadly, we never know for sure. I had really-really enjoyed the book and then in the last chapter when the author could have told us the truth…the author drops the ball. So annoying especially when all along I thought it was a good book…it just ended. The mystery, is still a mystery.
Here’s what Amazon had to say, “Sarah Zuckerman and Jennifer Jones are best friends in an upscale part of Washington, D.C., in the politically charged 1980s. Sarah is the shy, wary product of an unhappy home: her father abandoned the family to return to his native England; her agoraphobic mother is obsessed with fears of nuclear war. Jenny is an all-American girl who has seemingly perfect parents. With Cold War rhetoric reaching a fever pitch in 1982, the ten-year-old girls write letters to Soviet premier Yuri Andropov asking for peace. But only Jenny’s letter receives a response, and Sarah is left behind when her friend accepts the Kremlin’s invitation to visit the USSR and becomes an international media sensation. The girls’ icy relationship still hasn’t thawed when Jenny and her parents die tragically in a plane crash in 1985.
Ten years later, Sarah is about to graduate from college when she receives a mysterious letter from Moscow suggesting that Jenny’s death might have been a hoax. She sets off to the former Soviet Union in search of the truth, but the more she delves into her personal Cold War history, the harder it is to separate facts from propaganda.
You Are One of Them is a taut, moving debut about the ways in which we define ourselves against others and the secrets we keep from those who are closest to us. In her insightful forensic of a mourned friendship, Holt illuminates the long lasting sting of abandonment and the measures we take to bring back those we have lost.”
Amazon readers gave the book 3.8 stars. Ugh. I sure wish I had looked before I invested the time into the book as typically if Amazon readers don’t give a book 4 stars, I skip the book. So I guess that might be what I’d suggest…skip it.