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Breaking Cover

My Secret Life in the CIA and What it Taught Me About What's Worth Fighting For
Narrated by: Michele Rigby Assad
Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
2 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not quite the book it's title suggests

At the simplest level, this is the story of one person's personal journey from entering the CIA to what they did next.

"Secret life" is a little dramatic and even what is presented doesn't go into great depth. There isn't a lot to learn about "what's worth fighting for" apart from what was important to this person, and a fair bit of that appeared to be a 'God will show you the way' type message.

I really like Michelle's narration. Having heard her on various podcasts, this was a little slower but 1.25x sorted that out neatly. I would be keen to hear her read other books. A real highlight for me.

2/3 of the book is about the CIA journey, and the final third is about a particular project to find somewhere for persecuted middle Eastern Christians. Although I wasn't expecting that, I mostly enjoyed it. However the praying and faith in God stuff here was laid on a bit too thickly for me - I am not against it's inclusion but it was definitely too much for me.

Not a lot to learn here - but you may find the personal story interesting. I was hoping for more insightful stuff to take away for my own life. If my expectation was different, I think I would have rated it a bit higher. The narration is excellent.

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  • Nancy Huerter
  • 16-04-19

Good story, bad book

This was a story worth telling but it is not written well. It is repetitive, full of cliches (religious and otherwise) and much too self-conscious. I finished it since it was for book club but turned it off several times because It was so annoying.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 22-02-18

Definitely worth a listen.

Very interesting story and quite different than expected. Held my attention the entire time and great to know people like this exist in the world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Philip Yaghmai
  • 17-07-18

Deceptive title and sample.

The title of this book leads you to believe you are reading an. experienced agent's storied, but it is really a religious book. The writer seems quite in experienced and mainly just tells long drawn out stories like a lhigh school girl would.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-18

Who knew being a spy in the CIA could be so boring

Not very good writing or narration. Found myself wanting to skip chapter after chapter. Too much fluff. The prologue was the most interesting part of the book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kayla Pearson
  • 30-08-18

Disappointing

I have searched all over for this book, and ended up downloading audible just to read it. I had heard interviews and the initial review of the book looked great. I was excited to engage in an in depth look of a woman’s view in the CIA. Unfortunately, it was less an “exciting thriller-like read” and more an inundation of testimony and Christian bias and views. The story only barely glosses over her time in the CIA, focusing the last half of the book on her mission work outside of the CIA, after having served 10 years in the agency. She tells a few stories of life abroad, but the only detail emerges when talking about the work she did with refugees and IDPs after being employed. This would be fine if the title wasn’t “my secret life in the CIA” - it is HIGHLY misleading. Also, if you are not Christian, you will feel extremely alienated and annoyed by the fact that you spent actual money to listen to this book. The only praise should go to the marketers, who made it seem like this book was definitely worth the read. This isn’t to discount the author’s experience or work, which definitely made a mark in the lives of IDP’s specifically. But it is not a regaling tale of experiences in the CIA. It is more like part resume, (some of the “experiences” are lifted straight out of government performance reports. Anyone familiar with government work will recognize it) part Christian testimony, and has way too much religious ideology to even be taken seriously most of the time. I am very disappointed with the misleading title and cover praise for this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • MLK
  • 28-01-20

Faithfully inspiring adventure!

Thank you for telling your story Michele. You and Joseph are truly inspiring! I am sorry I let this book sit in my library for over a year before reading it. Just the motivation I needed to get off the X!!

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  • EM
  • 28-01-20

Interesting

Very well written, amazing, and informative. I listened to the entire book almost constantly until it was done, it was that good.

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  • Tez L
  • 04-01-20

Great modern adventure story.

I love Michelle and I am thankful for the story she has written for us. I would like to be more like Michelle, although commandment #10 tells me not to covet so I guess rather I'll just be inspired by her. ;)

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  • Staci D
  • 19-11-19

Interesting and inspirational

My favorite part was when Michele was praying that God would help them with a mission to rescue Christians and God told her He wasn't doing her a favor, that it was His project and He put that desire in her heart. What incredible insight that I can apply to the dreams God put in my heart! Michele's narration was enjoyable. She shed light on the difficulty of being in the CIA and Middle East as a woman through humility and grace. The stories about their missions and training was really interesting. I would definitely recommend this.

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  • Justin D. Kearns
  • 14-11-19

God is at work in the lives of those who love Him

I have 4 daughters, and hope for a book like this to one day encourage and inspire them in finding God's direction for their lives. I appreciate Assad's vulnerability, in sharing her perceived weaknesses, thus truly portraying through this testimony - that God is not looking for the seemingly perfect, but for those who have the faith and a willingness to go where God leads!