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Extended Audio Sample City of Secrets, by Stewart O’Nan Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stewart O’Nan Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From master storyteller Stewart O’Nan comes a timely moral thriller about the Jewish underground resistance in Jerusalem after the Second World War.

In 1945, with no homes to return to, Jewish refugees set out for Palestine by the tens of thousands. Those who made it were hunted as illegals by the British mandatory authorities there and relied on the underground to shelter them; taking fake names, they blended with the population, joining the wildly different factions fighting for the independence of Israel.

City of Secrets follows one survivor, Brand, as he tries to regain himself after losing everyone he’s ever loved. Now driving a taxi provided—like his new identity—by the underground, he navigates the twisting streets of Jerusalem as well as the overlapping, sometimes deadly loyalties of the resistance. Alone, haunted by memories, he tries to become again the man he was before the war—honest, strong, capable of moral choices. He falls in love with Eva, a fellow survivor and member of his cell; reclaims his faith; and commits himself to the revolution, accepting secret missions which grow more and more dangerous even as he begins to suspect he’s being used by their cell’s dashing leader, Asher. By the time Brand understands the truth, it’s too late, and the tragedy that ensues changes history.

A noirish, deeply felt novel of intrigue and identity written in O’Nan’s trademark lucent style, City of Secrets asks how both despair and faith can lead us astray, and what happens when, with the noblest intentions, we join movements beyond our control.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Finely wrought and morally complex, O’Nan’s considerable story-telling powers are masterfully deployed here.”

    Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

  • “Will keep you up all night reading—what a beautifully crafted novel.”

    Alan Furst, New York Times bestselling author

  • “O’Nan takes his mastery of language and depth of character in a fresh direction: a richly nuanced suspense novel.”

    Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author

  • “O’Nan is dealing with big history here and handling it deftly, but he never loses his center.”

    Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A little jewel, ­wonderfully sparse, moody and uneasy, reminiscent of the delicious, frayed-­collar noir of le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold…You can smell the squally desert wind that bends the cypress trees on the Jerusalem hills but never brings the rain. City of Secrets makes for great summer reading.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[An] atmospheric thriller…may be one of O’Nan’s best. Its strength lies in his ability, as always, to take us inside the minds and souls of characters, real or imagined…O’Nan, writing of the past as he evokes the present, reminds us terrorism is as old as it is new.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A fine piece of storytelling…in the exotic historic mode of Graham Greene, with the drier and grittier tone of Raymond Chandler…The moral struggle in City of Secrets is timeless and international.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Takes a clear-eyed and unsentimental look at an astonishing slice of history—one that is strikingly echoed by the heartbreaking events still unfolding in the Middle East.”

    Seattle Times

  • ”A search for love and justice after the Holocaust…[and] quest for something worth believing in…Worth applauding, too, is Mr. O Nan’s ability to realize a complex female character in Eva.”

    Pittsburgh Post Gazette

  • “A fast-moving story that brings fresh perspective to a moment of historical significance.”

    St. Louis Post Dispatch

  • “[With] thriller-like suspense…O’Nan’s engrossing portrait of an innocent caught in the web of history cues us to view today’s horrific Middle East struggles with compassion.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A probing, keening thriller…Though rigorously unsentimental, the text seethes with unresolved emotions…The complex moral issues it raises linger unsettlingly.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “O’Nan’s intriguing new novel…works on several levels, but it is especially memorable as a story where the tortured emotions of its characters are indistinguishable from the turmoil of the chaotic events that overwhelm them.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Edoardo Ballerini brings a rhythmic elegiac tone to O’Nan’s fine new novel, which encourages long listening and lends a timeless quality to a story set in post-WWII Jerusalem…Ballerini’s tightening voice helps build the tension as Brand struggles to discover what’s really going on. His subtle characterizations color the characters with courage, despair, passion, honesty, and moral ambiguity.”

    AudioFile

  • A USA Today Pick for New and Noteworthy Books
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