A Boy in Winter (Paperback)Rachel Seiffert (author)
Three days in the life of a small Ukrainian town are rendered with stunning emotional detail in Seiffert’s account of survival in the face of Nazi atrocities. Cast in spare, fragile prose, A Boy in Winter resounds with hope amidst the darkness.
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018
'A spellbinding evocation of fear and threat tinged with the possibility of hope and change. Completely captures those times in a vivid, precise, captivating and terrible way.' - Philippe Sands, author of East West Street, Observer
Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. Deft, spare and devastating, Rachel Seiffert's new novel tells of the three days that follow and the lives that are overturned in the process.
Penned in with his fellow Jews, under threat of transportation, Ephraim anxiously awaits word of his two sons, missing since daybreak. Come in search of her lover, to fetch him home again, away from the invaders, Yasia must confront new and harsh truths about those closest to her.
Here to avoid a war he considers criminal, German engineer Otto Pohl is faced with an even greater crime unfolding behind the lines, and no-one but himself to turn to.
And in the midst of it all is the determined boy Yankel who will throw his and his young brother's chances of surviving to strangers.
A Boy In Winter is a story of hope when all is lost, and of mercy when the times have none.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 210 g
Dimensions: 202 x 117 x 16 mm
Seiffert's prose is not showy, but graceful and precise. The misery of the dank streets is relieved by flashes of light and humanity The Economist A fine novel that locates small, flickering lights of hope in an otherwise desolate landscape -- Nick Rennison Sunday Times Seiffert's cool tone never wavers - her spare, beautiful prose is a joy to read -- Helen Dunmore Guardian Rachel Seiffert writes short, fast narratives about the big historical events that have shaped our time ... The primal energy in this novel is a moral sore that will never heal. How could Seiffert's beloved Opa (grandad) not know what was going on? How, knowing, could he and her Oma not resist? Yet had they resisted, Seiffert would not be here, in 2017, to write for us. One closes this fine novel sensing the confused pain it must have caused Rachel Seiffert to write it -- John Sutherland The Times Rachel Seiffert's new novel A Boy in Winter stretches over only three days, through which you encounter all the emotions of the time, horror and instinct for survival, family loyalty, and above all perhaps, bravery -- James Naughtie BBC World TV
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I admit to feeling rather puzzled by the title as this book follows several strands of narrative (with a wartime Ukrainian setting) and that of Yasia -a girl- was the standout one for me.
One strand of narrative... More
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