Red Joan

  • by Jennie Rooney
  • Narrated by Juliet Stevenson
  • 14 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Joan’s voice is almost a whisper. ‘Nobody talked about what they did during the war. We all knew we weren’t allowed to.’ Joan Stanley has a secret. She is a loving mother, a doting grandmother, and leads a quiet, unremarkable life in the suburbs. Then one morning there is a knock on the door, and suddenly the past she has been so keen to hide for the last fifty years threatens to overturn her comfortable world.
Cambridge University in 1937 is awash with ideas and idealists, yet unworldly Joan feels better suited to a science lecture and a cup of cocoa. But a chance meeting with the glamorous Russian-born Sonya and her charismatic cousin Leo blurs the edges of the things Joan thought she knew about the world, and about herself. In the post-War world of smoke and mirrors, allegiance is a slippery thing. Working in a government ministry with access to top-secret information, Joan is suddenly faced with the most difficult question of all: what price would you pay to remain true to what you believe? Would you betray your country, your family, even the man you love?


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An excellent but different spy story

The story is set in the 30's in Cambridge . It is centred round a young woman undergraduate and as the story unfolds it becomes clear that she is becoming involved with young politically involved Russians who are recruiting young people as spies. The heroine falls in love and it is that that keeps her close to the more active spies. She tries to keep her distance from what they are doing but eventually decides to "help".
The book starts with her unmasking at the age of 85, and one can experience along side her the fear and shame caused by her interrogation. Her motives as well as the convoluted duplicity of others are revealed as she is confronted by her past.
The book is very skilfully read by Juliet Stevenson and was a joy to listen to
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- Marie

Very Good story read excellently

What made the experience of listening to Red Joan the most enjoyable?

The lustrous narrative of Juliet Stevenson.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A Secret Long Held

Any additional comments?

The historical context of the story was interesting and seemed accurate.

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- Roderic

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-02-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks