The Unwitting: A Novel

A novel of a marriage and a country betrayed.

In the 1950s and 60s, as Russia and the free world battle each other with words as weapons in what was known as the Cultural Cold War, Charlie and Nell Benjamin, a magazine publisher and a writer, are in the thick of it.  But when tragedy strikes, Nell discovers that her marriage was not what it seemed and betrayal can wear many masks.  The Unwitting is a tale of the stories we tell others, the lies we tell ourselves, and the moral compass we use to navigate the distance between.

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“Gripping…a deep and disarming book about politics, human relationships, and love…meticulously  researched…skillfully drawn.”

—Library Journal

“An absolute joy to read. Hooked from the first line of the first page, I could not put this book down and was sorry when I finished it…a story about truth and love, but not a “love story”; a story of human nature, intrigue and betrayal…the characters are well-defined and believable, the plot has unexpected twists and turns, the writing is sublime, sprinkled with wry humor, well-paced, full of tension – I’m sure when I read it again in a couple of years I will probably find something new in it. A book to make you think long after you’ve finished it, which for me, is the mark of a really good piece of writing…This is not a book to be rushed – savor it, enjoy each word.”

—The Amazon UK Vine Program

The Unwitting compelled me from the first page and through every unexpected twist and turn.  This look into the dark places in human nature cries out to be read, re-read, and discussed.  Unforgettable.”

—Lynn Cullen author of National Bestseller Mrs. Poe

“A story of love and intrigue during the Cold War, The Unwitting plumbs not only the secrets of spies, but those of the human heart.  Moving, witty, and thoroughly intelligent, it is an absorbing and deeply satisfying read.”

—Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd

“Compelling and poignant… Not only is the writing atmospheric and subtle, it has great psychological tension.”

—Nigel Farndale, author of the acclaimed, Costa-shortlisted novel The Blasphemer

“Ellen Feldman’s masterful, unforgettable portrayal of a marriage during the Cold War evokes the era in beautiful but charged prose.  The paranoia of the times crackles on the page as secrets are kept and Nell Benjamin, the narrator, is unwittingly caught in moral quandaries of the 1950’s.  A captivating work of storytelling that will keep you up late at night, The Unwitting is a timely, must-read novel that reminds us the past continues to haunt. “

Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

“Through the lens of a passionate, complex marriage Ellen Feldman brings the Cold War back to life. The Unwitting is a wise and irresistible portrait of fascinating people in a tumultuous time.”

Roger Straus IIIFormer Managing Director of Farrar, Straus & Giroux

“Intelligent…poignant…impressive scope”

—Publisher’s Weekly




ellenhomeABOUT ELLEN

Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, is the author of the Unwitting, Next to Love, Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Orange Prize, The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, which was translated into nine languages, and Lucy. Her new novel, The Unwitting  will be available May 6, 2014,  in hardcover, e-book, and audio editions.

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