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Extended Audio Sample When the Doves Disappeared, by Sofi Oksanen 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: Sofi Oksanen Narrator: Enn Reitel Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the acclaimed author of Purge comes a riveting, chillingly relevant new novel of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Eastern Europe.

1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men have deserted the Red Army—Roland, a fiercely principled freedom fighter, and his slippery cousin Edgar. When the Germans arrive, Roland goes into hiding; Edgar abandons his unhappy wife, Juudit, and takes on a new identity as a loyal supporter of the Nazi regime.

1963: Estonia is again under Communist control, independence even further out of reach behind the Iron Curtain. Edgar is now a Soviet apparatchik, desperate to hide the secrets of his past life and stay close to those in power. But his fate remains entangled with Roland’s, and with Juudit, who may hold the key to uncovering the truth.

Great acts of deception and heroism collide in this masterful story of surveillance, passion, and betrayal, as Sofi Oksanen brings to life the frailty—and the resilience—of humanity under the shadow of tyranny.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A piercing look at characters striving to retain their humanity amid fear, violence, and secrecy.”

    New Yorker

  • “Oksanen gives voice to a rarely discussed—or portrayed—Eastern European knowledge: no one survived World War II with her hopes, dreams, and loves intact.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “This book is excellent. The public needs to know what Eastern Europe has experienced in the twentieth century. Three occupations are behind them, and despite it Estonia now is one of the leading European nations.”

    Oleg Gordievsky, CMG (former KGB colonel and secret agent for MI6)

  • “A thrilling page turner…The writing is sensual and visceral with great descriptive range, thanks also to the beautiful translation.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Winds the tension to astonishing levels.”

    Toronto Star (Canada)

  • “At once a historical novel, a crime story, a psychological novel, a romance, a war novel, When the Doves Disappeared plays with blurring boundaries…An explosive text with a dark heart.”

    Le Monde (France)

  • “Reminds the reader that, whatever else people in wartime may do, they are human creatures and not the one-dimensional monsters that history makes them seem to be.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “[A] sensitive, accomplished, and penetrating narration…Reitel’s skill with accents and talent for expressing the personalities of many characters intertwined down generations make the experience shocking and memorable.”


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