When the Doves Disappeared

Sofi Oksanen

RRP: £8.99

31 December 2015

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782391289

RRP: £8.99

7 May 2015

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782391272

1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men are fleeing from 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…

In a masterfully told story that moves between the tumult of these two brutally repressive eras – a story of surveillance, deception, passion, and betrayal – Sofi Oksanen brings to life both the frailty, and the resilience, of humanity under the shadow of tyranny.


A powerful, angry work
Mail on Sunday

Superb... Over it hangs a Graham Greene-like atmosphere of human wretchedness and compromised political faith
Sunday Telegraph, *****

A thrilling page-turner but equally a shattering family drama and an unsparing deconstruction of history... Oksanen is a serious novelist in all ways

Betrayal, secrecy and memory are the haunting themes of Oksanen's accomplished novel... Her insights and intuition mean that she is fast becoming one of the foremost voices in the ex-communist world
The Economist