You Are One of Them: A Novel About Secrets, Betrayal, and the Friend Who Got Away [NOOK Book]

Overview

"A hugely absorbing first novel from a writer with a fluid, vivid style and a rare knack for balancing the pleasure of entertainment with the deeper gratification of insight. More, please.”
—Maggie Shipstead, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

"A story about Russia, the United States, ...
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You Are One of Them: A Novel About Secrets, Betrayal, and the Friend Who Got Away

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Overview

"A hugely absorbing first novel from a writer with a fluid, vivid style and a rare knack for balancing the pleasure of entertainment with the deeper gratification of insight. More, please.”
—Maggie Shipstead, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

"A story about Russia, the United States, friendship, identity, defection, and deception that is smart, startling, and worth reading regardless of when you were born.”
—Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine

"Holt's beguiling debut… in which there is no difference between personal and political betrayal, vividly conjures the anxieties of the Cold War without ever lapsing into nostalgia."
The New Yorker


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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101617977
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/30/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 79,787
  • File size: 612 KB

Meet the Author

Elliott Holt's short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Guernica, and Bellevue Literary Review. She won a 2011 Pushcart Prize and is the runner-up of the 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award. A graduate of the MFA program at Brooklyn College, where she won the Himan Brown Award, she has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop and Yaddo. She is a former contributing editor at One Story magazine and a former copywriter, who has worked at advertising agencies in Moscow, London, and New York. She currently resides in her hometown of Washington, D.C.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting During the Andropov Era in the Soviet Union, two Am

    Interesting

    During the Andropov Era in the Soviet Union, two American girls, Sarah Zuckerman and Jennifer Jones, write letters to the Premier about the arms race. Sarah came up with the idea, but Jenny's letter seemingly impressed Andropov more, so much so that the Jones family is invited to visit the country. The ensuing publicity drives a wedge between the girls, a wedge that freezes Sarah in time when Jenny and her parents get killed in a plane crash in the Soviet Union. Sarah's mother, abandoned by her British ex-pat husband and obsessed to the breaking point with nuclear war, gets a nonprofit fund started in Jenny's name. And life goes on -- or so it seems.

    Flash forward to 1995 and the end of the Soviet Union. Sarah, now out of college, is still haunted by Jenny -- she seemed to have everything Sarah needed: the perfect family, the perfect life, the perfect future. But nothing seems to have changed in Sarah's life. Until one day, she receives a mysterious letter suggesting Jenny may still be alive and living in what is now Russia. Sarah gets on a plane and heads over, bombarded both by her own unresolved feelings about Jenny and by the new Russia. She meets Svetlana, the writer of the note, who eventually introduces her to Zoya, who might or might not be Jenny. Zoya knows some things, but not others. (Like the discovery that Andropov never got Sarah's letter because Jenny's dad intercepted it and hid it behind a bedroom mirror.) But there's a very good reason to not believe Zoya: she needs money. The nonprofit fund has now grown to a sizable amount of cash, and a very bad investment has wiped Zoya out; if Sarah gives her the money, she'll be solvent. But Sarah has been rethinking her relationship with Jenny, and isn't so sure if Jenny was ever Jenny, or only the Jenny the young Sarah needed in her life at the time. Does she even need her now, alive or dead?

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    quick read

    A great book for a plane ride, very simple but enjoyable

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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