Does Anna PItoniak know CIA secrets we’re not privy to, or is this a fantasy thriller of Melanie Trump being a person of secrecy, substance and bravery? Either way, it’s a completely engaging romp of insider D.C. politics, CIA spying, White House behind-the-scenes moments, and Soviet plots. Here, Donald Trump morphs into President Henry Caine, who comes replete with all Trumpisms of manner, language, bluster, greed and fury. Melania becomes the fictional Lara, who’s born in the Soviet Union instead of Russia and raised in Paris when her KGB father gets assigned embassy work there during the Cold War. Like Melania, Lara’s a loner, a model, and dedicated to her family who she brought over to the U.S. thanks to her husband’s wealth and connections, and to being a Mom. Like Melania, Lara has an elusive, unreadable glass surface and wants total public disengagement. But Lara has a secret past she’s never revealed, one that started with a young brilliant Russian rebel who turned out to the be love of her life.
Lara summons talented White House reporter Sofie Morse, who’s quit her job feeling burnt out covering the incipient Trump-like antics of President Caine, and asks Sofie to write Lara’s biography. Of note, Lara does not insist on an NDA, and Sofie is both baffled and intrigued. The novel divides into two story lines: third party narration revealing the intimate past of Lara’s life and Sophie’s first-person narration as she gets drawn further and further into Lara’s world. Eventually Sophie’s own life is in danger based on what she learns.
For anyone has truly wondered what may be behind the glamorous contained veneer of Melanie, this book provides a glorious romp into an imaginative explanation that proves wholly satisfying.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced readers copy of this book.