Excerpt from The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Spy Who Loved

The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville

by Clare Mulley

The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley X
The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2014, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Jerzy Skarbek had inherited a noble name, a rich family history, and little sense of restraint. The Skarbeks owned acres of land, an assortment of houses, a collection of farms, and stables full of thoroughbred horses, but by his mid-twenties Jerzy's indulgence in wine and women, roulette and racing had quickly diminished his income. In 1898 his family arranged for him to marry an exceedingly wealthy, clever and 'absolutely beautiful' Jewish banking heiress. In December that year, Stefania Goldfeder, newly baptized, was delighted to be embraced into the fold of one of Poland's oldest families. The marriage was solemnized in the rites of the Helvetic Reform Church, apparently acceptable to both the Roman Catholic Skarbeks and the Goldfeders, who were non-observant Jews.

The wedding caused a scandal, albeit a minor one. No one in Warsaw had any doubts about the bridegroom's motives, and there were some knowing smiles when the society pages chose to celebrate the Goldfeder family as belonging to 'a class of financiers actively involved in the task of the material reconstruction of our martyred nation'. Jews, once sheltered by the Polish Commonwealth, had been heavily discriminated against by the Russian occupiers, and although there was a small assimilated Jewish intelligentsia, most Polish Jews spoke a different language, ate different food and wore different clothes. They were a source of curiosity, to be patronized or avoided. Even assimilated Jewish families were still subject to social ostracism, and if Jewish doctors and lawyers were popular it was partly because they brought with them a certain sort of professional distance. Once Jerzy and Stefania's wedding ceremony was over, the members of the nobility and those of 'the financial circles' went their own ways, each with good reason to frown upon the motives of the other in this union. But while it was said that Jerzy did not marry Stefania, but rather he married her money, it is perhaps equally true that Stefania married the noble Skarbek name. The following year Jerzy bought a grand country estate at M?odzieszyn, which he felt both befitted a married man of his station, and was far enough removed to soften some of the noisier Warsaw gossip [Jerzy Skarbek is listed as the landowner of the Wechadlow estate, in the Pinczo district, where Christine probably lived until she was three years old, when they moved to Trzepnica].

Excerpted from The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley. Copyright © 2013 by Clare Mulley. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya

    A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.