Betrayal is a word that can be used in many contexts, but it has never been more relevant than today. Betrayal by friends and family members; betrayal of one’s countrymen; betrayal for the love of another—all are common themes in today's world. But what does it really mean to betray? This book explores those questions through the story of Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius.
In Parenti's debut novel Betrayal: The Ethel Rosenberg Story she weaves a ‘based on true events' story that is complex and nuanced but engages the reader in questions that face all of us today around betrayal by government, family, and self.
The early feedback and praise from the author and historian community have been incredible — and certainly, the praise is well earned.
Shares Parenti, “I hoped the book would inspire meaningful dialogue and the opportunity to reflect on questions, including reconciling the different demands and pressures an individual faces as a parent and as a member of the world community and navigating the betrayals of our own lives, when our beliefs and dreams don’t match reality.”
“Many people may not realize that Ethel was the only woman executed by the U.S. government on charges related to espionage in more than 150 years. Ultimately what happens when our allies become our enemies, and when the opposite happens too?”
Her writing is not only gripping, but it's well researched and rich in details. It's clear Parenti is a prolific reader of true crime work.
The book is told from the point of view of Ethel Rosenberg, who tells her story to a young woman in an imaginary last meeting before she's executed. The reader gets to know both characters intimately and feels their emotions as they relive this true American tragedy.
Parenti balances compassion for these two extraordinary people with historical accuracy that lays out a core thread through to today's complex world.
The book is a perfect summer reading choice for readers interested in historical fiction, the Rosenberg trial, and women's rights. An especially useful read if you're looking to incorporate more books about American history into your studies this summer!
You can find more about Alisa Parenti on her website.
About the Author
Alisa Parenti is an award-winning broadcast journalist, reporter, anchor and storyteller. In addition to her work in journalism, Parenti has served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University teaching multimedia journalism and news writing. She earned a master's degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. She and her husband are the parents of two young women, and it is her deepest hope that a closer examination of history and women's rights can help improve the lives of her daughters and the world. When she's not writing or working, she is a prolific reader of true crime.