I Must Betray You: Book summary and reviews of I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You

by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys X
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
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Book Summary

A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren't free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He's left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Sepetys unveils the culture of constant surveillance in communist Romania through an ominously suspenseful historical novel set at the brink of revolution...Cristian's tense first-person narrative foregrounds stark historical realities...unflinchingly confronting deprivations and cruelty while balancing them with perseverance and hope as Romania hurtles toward political change." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Told from Cristian's point of view, intercut by secret police memos and Cristian's own poetry, the novel crackles with energy; Cristian and his friends join the groundswell of young Romanians, combining pragmatism, subterfuge, hope, and daring. While the story ends with joy on Christmas Day, the epilogue recounts the betrayals and losses that follow. The last line will leave readers gasping. Compulsively readable and brilliant." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Author Information

Ruta Sepetys Author Biography

Photo: Magda Staroweiyska

Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a "crossover" novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is renowned for giving voice to underrepresented history and those who experienced it. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on over thirty state reading lists, and are currently in development for film and television.

Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Ruta is passionate about the power of history and story to foster global ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
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Name Pronunciation
Ruta Sepetys: Roota Suh-pettys

Other books by Ruta Sepetys at BookBrowse
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