Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
American Spy
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love? One woman struggles to choose between her honor and her heart in this enthralling espionage drama that deftly hops between New York and West Africa. Its 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. Shes brilliant, but shes also a young black woman working in an old boys club. Her career has stalled out, shes overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when shes given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Thomas is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving over the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects shes being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent. In the year that follows, Marie will observe Thomas, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American. Inspired by true eventsThomas Sankara is known as Africas Che Guevarathis novel knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War youve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice. Advance praise for American Spy Echoing the stoic cynicism of Hurston and Ellison, and the verve of Conan Doyle, American Spy lays our complicitiespolitical, racial, and sexualbare. Packed with unforgettable characters, its a stunning book, timely as it is timeless.Paul Beatty, Man Booker Prizewinning author of The Sellout American Spy is by turns suspenseful, tender, and funny, always smart and searingly honest. Lauren Wilkinson renders the world of spies with vivacity and depth, but like all great novels, this one teaches us the most about ourselves and our values, shining a penetrating light on what its like to be a black woman in America.Sara Novi?, author of Girl at War
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
review
Rachel_nyc
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

I read this for #camptob even though I‘m not really following along. I was hooked quickly and really liked the main character. I also thought it was a cool mash-up of spy thriller and literary fiction but what I enjoyed most was the detail regarding Burkina Faso and Thomas Sankara, which I knew very little about. The ending was slightly unsatisfying but I still recommend it.

16 likes1 stack add
quote
cherylmorton
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

“A sense of self-importance permeated the culture. So did machismo and knee-jerk conservatism. To get by, I told my colleagues that I didn‘t care about politics, which felt like a ridiculous thing to claim. They bought it, though. Very few of those men understood having no choice about whether they were political or not: unlike me, they weren‘t people who‘d had their existence politicized on their behalf.”

5 likes2 stack adds
quote
hermioneshandbag
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson

The only anger I ever expose to the world is through implication, by suggesting that I‘m on the brink of no longer being able to contain my fury. That is what a woman‘s strength looks like when it‘s palatable: like she is containing herself.

review
ReadingEnvy
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Finished the last of the #camptob books for tournament of books and I thought this was pretty good. It is largely set in Burkina Faso and Martinique, two countries I have not yet had the chance to read books from, and I always enjoy learning more about places. Despite the alternating time periods and the fact that it is a spy novel, it's a pretty slow burn. I set it aside a few times to read other things but was ultimately glad I came back to it.

55 likes1 stack add
review
Mitch
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

The landscape of the coupe d'etat in Burkina Faso is well drawn & the complexities of gender, race, cold war & colonialism are explored expertly but always within the context of a fast paced thriller. The structure is problematic- it's written as a set of letters to the leading characters young son. I felt within a few paragraphs into each chapter this was forgotten & the letters got lost in the retelling, leaving the prose a little jarred.

86 likes2 stack adds
review
AshleyC816
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

This was great! I‘m usually not a big spy thriller fan, but the family drama in this one gave it more heart!

MicrobeMom So cute! Love you little one! 4w
Lady_Tigana_20 What an adorable dog. 🥰 4w
brit91 What a cutie pie you have there!!🐶😍 4w
Anitareads So cute 😍 4w
66 likes4 comments
review
Lauren.Archer
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
Panpan

I can understand why people like this book, but this was not my cup of tea at all. I thought this would be literary, less spy.

Bookzombie I ended up bailing on this one. It just didn‘t hold my interest. 1mo
53 likes1 comment
blurb
Mitch
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Early morning hard swim, followed by sticky bun and chapter 1 in the park! Life is all about balance! #bfc

@chrissyreadit @erinsuegreads @itchyfeetreader @microbemom @phatsallylee @blaire @sudi

sudi Seems like the perfect balance 😊👍 and sticky buns sound delicious 😋 1mo
Mitch @sudi It tasted so good ! Especially as I felt like I really earnt it! 1mo
Chrissyreadit Sounds like a beautiful morning. 1mo
See All 8 Comments
Crazeedi I got your card yesterday!! Thank you!! I have a lot of letters to write!💗 1mo
wanderinglynn Looks like a lovely spot to walk/read. 👍🏻 1mo
Mitch @wanderinglynn one advantage of living on the edge of the 2012 Olympic Park 👍🏼 1mo
Mitch @Crazeedi Loved connecting with you 👏🏼 1mo
Mitch @Chrissyreadit A hot night meant we didn‘t sleep well, so got up early and decided to make good use of the extra time! I‘ll probably be very sleepy by 8pm! 1mo
102 likes8 comments
blurb
Lauren.Archer
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Busy week last week, but got a few good reads in.

Check out my weekly recap at: http://obsessedbookaholic.com/2019/07/22/weekly-reading-round-up-july-22-2019/

68 likes1 stack add
review
UnabridgedPod
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Lauren Willkinson's American Spy stuck with me. An epistolary novel composed of flashbacks and protagonist Marie's letter to her twin sons, it focuses on Marie's development as a spy for the United States in the 1980s, at the height of our fear of Communism. Marie's efforts, embroiled in complex family dynamics, target Thomas Sankara, the charismatic president of Burkina Faso, who the U.S. has deemed a threat. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod The movement through Marie's past, as she tries to make sense of the steps that have brought her to her current life, offer insight into her status as a black, female agent in a government that sees her not as an important person in its service but as a pawn to be sacrificed without a second thought. 1mo
UnabridgedPod I was blown away by this brilliant, compelling, and thought-provoking recent-historical novel. (This is another Camp ToB book! I hope it will do well, and I'm eager to read the discussion about it.)⠀

What did you think of American Spy? Which Camp ToB books are you rooting for?
1mo
BarbaraBB I am not participating this Summer, somehow the books didn‘t appeal but now I am a bit regretting my choice. What is your favorite? 1mo
See All 8 Comments
UnabridgedPod @BarbaraBB Hmmm. That‘s tough. Maybe Lost Children Archive. Or Daisy Jones and the Six. But I‘ve enjoyed all of them except Bowlaway. 1mo
BarbaraBB Have you read the James yet? 1mo
BarbaraBB I am looking forward to Lost Children‘s Archive! 1mo
UnabridgedPod @BarbaraBB I did. That was a tough read for me. There were things I LOVED about it...toward the end. Definitely mixed feelings. 1mo
BarbaraBB It is the main reason I decided to skip the Summer ToB. Didn‘t feel up to it! 1mo
17 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
AudreyMorris
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Another #Camptob novel, this one is a quick read and very good. This is the story if Marie, a good judge of character, who becomes an FBI agent. But as a black woman she has little chance to advance. She accepts a shadowy job in Burkina Faso, possibly with the CIA. The story jumps between her childhood in NY, her US desk job, Burkina Faso, and when she is visiting her mother in Martinique. Lots of twists! #firstnovel

BarbaraBB Great review. This is one of the #CampToB books that I‘d like to read! (edited) 1mo
32 likes1 comment
quote
hermioneshandbag
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson

One thing I can say for sure is that I don‘t want you to be moral absolutionists. If what I‘m telling you of our story means to you that the people it involves are either saved or damned, then you‘ll have misunderstood me.

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
Lauren.Archer
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Pretty good week of reading, catch up on the good the bad and the ugly at: https://obsessedbookaholic.com/2019/07/14/weekly-reading-round-up-july-14-2019/

84 likes3 stack adds
review
Avidreader25
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Mehso-so

I had high hopes for this novel, based on a real African-American spy in the 1980s whose mission is to get close to African revolutionary Thomas Sankara. But while the story was interesting, it crawled along. It was hard to feel invested and never really clicked for me. In the end, I think I would‘ve been more interested to read a nonfiction account of the same events.

“It‘s not romantic to be so loyal that you compromise your sense of yourself.”

blurb
TheLibrarian
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

My 3 Tailored Book Recommendations! Now I just need to read them and provide feedback; I‘ve been slacking previously.

Have you read any of these?

MrBook 😻😻😻 2mo
Sharpeipup Just started Lovely war 2mo
Shel.f KITTY!!
2mo
See All 11 Comments
CBee GORGEOUS kitty!!! 2mo
HeatherBlue Beautiful kitty!!! 😻 2mo
JenReadsAlot Great picture! 😻 2mo
LeslieO That face! 2mo
Palimpsest Beautiful cat! 2mo
CouronneDhiver Gorgeous kitty 🐱 2mo
rachelsbrittain Such a beautiful kitty!! 2mo
TheLibrarian @Sharpeipup Let me know how it is! 2mo
80 likes11 comments
review
Skeebies05
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Ooooooo! So good. It reminded me a bit of Who is Vera Kelly. In the sense that its about so much more than espionage.

review
Pamwurtzler
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Mehso-so

So this book was okay, but I can‘t rave about it. It‘s a Cold War spy novel/family drama. It‘s written as a journal that the MC is writing to her kids. The ending was unresolved so I‘m wondering if it‘s going to be continued in another book.

RestlessFickleBookHoarder Do you listen to the Black Chick Lit podcast? They just did an episode about this book. http://blackchicklit.com/podcast/episode-29-american-spy/ 2mo
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
JoyBlue
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Bailedbailed

Bailing at 25% 2:41:32—boring! Wish it hadn't hogged a hold spot for so long. Oh, well.

review
shaynarae
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I felt like I was in a bit of a reading slump and was picking my way through this at a snail‘s pace. But every time I sat down with it, even for just a few pages at a time, I was immediately immersed in it, which is a testament to the writing. After reading a 1,000+ page book in a fantasy series, I appreciated the brevity of this story. Though I can see how it may feel insufficient for other readers.

review
mrozzz
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Mehso-so

A fascinating story following the real-world details of the last year of Thomas Sankara's controversial presidency of Burkina Faso, as seen through the eyes of a young FBI agent describing a contract job overseas with the CIA. Anyone with any interest in the world politics of the 1980s would be enthralled by the overall premise. Though my writer brain and the odd presentation not allowing the reader to settle into any present was a major turnoff.

review
Booksnchill
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Debut novel- listened to the audio read by Bonnie Turpin who does an excellent job. It is 1986 and Marie works for the FBI but is underutilized. She has ambitions so when one of her sister‘s military friends gets her the opportunity to spy on the new leader of Burkino Faso she accepts- but what does she have to do and who is she really working for. Told as journal entries to her twin boys the action goes from Harlem to Martinique to Burkino Faso.

64 likes1 stack add
blurb
WanderingBookaneer
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Abailliekaras Some of these were not my best of 2019! 😬😉 3mo
72 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
Mitch
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Home from #nyc unpacked and enjoying cuddles with the cats whilst gazing at our holiday purchases! Left stack mine. Right stack Mr Ks!

JoScho I LOVE Shake Shack! I didn‘t know there was a book 💚 4mo
Leftcoastzen Seems you had a great time! Cuddles with kitties the best welcome home. 4mo
Mitch @Leftcoastzen The best! One is silently punishing us for leaving him, but the other two are full of love! 😍 4mo
See All 8 Comments
Mitch @JoScho He loves reading cookbooks - summer grills are being planned! 4mo
Leftcoastzen Those kitties! I used to have a punisher! 4mo
Swe_Eva I just came back from NYC as well, but you did better shopping than I did. 😉 4mo
MaureenMc 👏 4mo
CouronneDhiver Somebody is a shopper. Not sure who 😉🛒🛍 4mo
77 likes8 comments
blurb
MicheleinPhilly
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Finally got to my favorite indie today. Did some damage and feel A OK about it. 👌🏼

Mitch Snap ! I bought American Spy too today - it looks really good. Enjoy! 4mo
Megabooks I want to read Supermarket! 4mo
BarbaraBB My Lovely Wife is a trip! A roller coaster! 4mo
See All 8 Comments
MicheleinPhilly @Megabooks It‘s the store‘s next book club pick. I‘m gonna try to be sociable in real life. 😬 4mo
Megabooks Good luck! 🍀 You‘re braver than I am!! 4mo
MicheleinPhilly @Megabooks There is a 75% chance I will chicken out. 😉 4mo
Suet624 Good for you!!!! 4mo
Reviewsbylola Great haul! 4mo
70 likes8 comments
blurb
Mitch
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Part 1 of today‘s #bookhaul from Strand. A book I‘ve not seen before, two I‘ve been looking for, some cute postcards, notebook and Handmaiden pin along with the obligatory bookmark. 👏🏻❤️👏🏻

blurb
mhillis
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Characters in American Spy discuss books on tape and Passing by Nella Larsen! What are you listening to these days?

Lindy I‘m four hours into 4mo
36 likes1 comment
review
Christine
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

I liked this a lot! I would have enjoyed more time with the characters, storylines, and badass spy machinations, but in a good, leave-the-reader-wanting-more sort of way. Lots of political and moral stuff to chew on, too, despite it being a quick read.

54 likes1 stack add
review
Floresj
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

This wasn‘t what I was expecting, but I really liked it. It‘s a mystery, with multiple loose ends that I was intrigued by. Told as a letter to her children, Maria walks us through how she believes the first chapter of the book came to be. Wasn‘t perfect, but one of the better fiction I‘ve read in awhile.

review
WolfReader
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
Mehso-so

It starts off as pulsating thriller but slows down in many ways into an insightful portrait of a black woman‘s story as an FBI turned CIA freelance operative in the late 1980s. Lots of back story, interpersonal relationships, and espionage. Not all of it engaging. It‘s a solid 3-star book.

review
Lea
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Well it wasn‘t what I was expecting. It‘s more looking back and ends...not how I like things to end. But it‘s a unique story and mostly held my interest. #libraryread #readwomen #diversebooks

review
Preciouz29
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
Pickpick

A tad dry and long sometimes, and a little bit too preachy, but overall entertaining. I love the twist in that she‘s a black spy.

Lea Totally agree 5mo
Preciouz29 @Lea yes! I was so perplexed by the ending that I thought this was the start of a series! 5mo
Lea Yes!! I was wondering that also. 5mo
Preciouz29 I think I would be totally in more if this was a start to a series. 5mo
2 likes4 comments
quote
NoShushing
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

“I can‘t run the risk of caring too deeply about too many people. The result is that I‘ve never had very many close friends, but have always excelled at being an acquaintance.” P. 59.

RaimeyGallant Great quote. :) 5mo
4 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
Addison_Reads
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

I told myself to only go into the library and get the second book in The Chaos Walking Series, but instead all of these are now coming home with me. 💚

review
sophierayton
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

I really liked that the "America will save the world" narrative was challenged in this book - one character says about an African nation that they're not ready to have democracy with their own ideas and candidates - which is absolutely shocking. I did feel like the novel was a bit unbalanced in that there was a lot of back story and build up and the spy part was minor in comparison. I still liked it though.

review
ontheBL
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Lauren Wilkinson sets her novel, American Spy, against the backdrop of the spread of communism during the Cold War. Wilkinson writes a beautiful novel about the ferocity of a mother‘s love. A mystery, but I care more about the intricate nuance Lauren Wilkinson shows crafting her debut novel.

https://onthebl.org/2019/03/09/american-spy/

review
SassyBookworm
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

I really liked this book. Kind of read like a memoir but wasn‘t and I really enjoyed that. I loved the way it was written as a letter to her children. I loved how real Marie was and how blunt she could be with her thoughts and perspectives. Overall just a great book! Can‘t wait to read more by this author! Great debut novel!

106 likes3 stack adds
review
ablachly
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

A smart, political, nicely paced spy story, featuring a young black woman working for the FBI in the 80s. Fantastic.

Liatrek I can‘t wait to read this one😊 6mo
BibliOphelia Ooh! Just heard about this on NPR. Stacked! 6mo
ablachly So so good. I tore through it. 6mo
15 likes3 stack adds3 comments
review
8little_paws
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image
Pickpick

Omg I loved this book so much. It's not a thriller. It's a character driven study of sisters and mothers, of ideology, of being a black woman in a white man's space, of being a black non-african in Africa. The main character was strong, smart, passionate and clear.

Hooked_on_books Nice! I just picked this one up yesterday. 6mo
47 likes4 stack adds1 comment
quote
ontheBL
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

I think that conclusion was drawn too neatly - people are too complex for such simple arithmetic - but I understand the purpose it serves.

SailorMoon Would you suggest it, nevermind the ending? I'm so unsure whether to add it to my TBR stack or not... 6mo
ontheBL I'm almost done. It's very interesting and touches on a lot of important social issues. It's not super fast paced, but the writing style is intriguing. 6mo
12 likes2 comments
blurb
SassyBookworm
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Sitting in my car determined to finish my book as I‘m waiting to see a concert with my daughter and her best friend. They are out in line in the cold and I am warm and snug with my book in the car! There have been ppl waiting in line since 6:30am! The doors don‘t even open til 7p show starts at 8p! So I have 2.5 more hours of waiting...Calpurnia we are waiting for you! (Finn Wolfhard‘s band for you Stranger Things fans!)

#SassyBookworm😏

seglitis Nice work Momma! 6mo
111 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
ontheBL
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Took a reading break last week to spend time in Cozumel.

DivineDiana Have fun! 😀 6mo
kstadt929 I went to Cozumel a few years ago and loved relaxing on the beach with a book ❤️ 6mo
ontheBL @kstadt929 It was fun. I was only there for a few hours. 6mo
16 likes4 comments
blurb
queerbookreader
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

GUESS WHO'S EXCITED #MEEEEEEEEEE

29 likes1 stack add
blurb
SassyBookworm
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

Took this beautiful picture from my front yard of the beautiful moon!
Enjoying this new book for #BlackHistoryMonth its inspired by true events and written by a #BlackWomanAuthor I‘m loving the perspective of the main character writing to her children. It‘s really a different yet more personal way to see the story through the main character!

#SassyBookworm😏 #AmericanSpy #BlackLitsy #BLitsy #DiverseReads #ReadBlackAuthors #BlitsyHistoryMonth

mabell This month‘s full moon is the Snow Moon. 😊 It was so magnificent tonight! 6mo
SassyBookworm @mabell yes! I wish my camera was better! It‘s was just breathtaking! 6mo
108 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
HardcoverHearts
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

I am excited to get to this before it‘s released next week! Having been raised in Africa, I have always had an eye on political/economic issues related to newly independent nations in that Cold War era. I‘m flying through it at a fast clip. The characters are strong & nuanced, the plot is solid, & the background material is made accessible. I do so hope she can stick the landing!

batsy I have my eye on this, too. It sounds so good! 6mo
34 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Worldforreading
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

I want to highlight this book, one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, as well as link to the very interesting interview at The Believer https://believermag.com/logger/an-interview-with-lauren-wilkinson/

20 likes1 stack add
blurb
Hazel0303
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
post image

When you‘re the first person to review the book on Goodreads and the author is kind enough to like and comment on your review!!!!

Totally made my morning!! 🤗🌞💁🏻‍♀️