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One Night in Winter: Book summary and reviews of One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore

One Night in Winter

by Simon Sebag Montefiore

One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore X
One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore
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About this book

Book Summary

Inspired by a true story, prize-winning historian and acclaimed novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore explores the consequences of forbidden love in this heartbreaking epic of marriage, childhood, danger, and betrayal that unfolds in Stalin's Moscow during the bleak days after World War II.

As Moscow celebrates the motherland's glorious victory over the Nazis, shots ring out on the crowded streets. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl - dressed in traditional nineteenth-century costumes - lie dead. But this is no ordinary tragedy, because these are no ordinary teenagers. As the son and daughter of high-ranking Soviet officials, they attend the most elite school in Moscow. Was it an accident, or murder? Is it a conspiracy against Stalin, or one of his own terrifying intrigues?

On Stalin's instructions, a ruthless investigation begins into what becomes known as the Children's Case. Youth across the city are arrested and forced to testify against their friends and their parents. As families are ripped apart, all kinds of secrets come spilling out. Trapped at the center of this witch-hunt are two pairs of illicit lovers, who learn that matters of the heart exact a terrible price. By turns a darkly sophisticated political thriller, a rich historical saga, and a deeply human love story, Montefiore's masterful novel powerfully portrays the terror and drama of Stalin's Russia.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Sudden, mysterious arrests. Brutal interrogations. The crushing of any hint of antigovernment thought. Constant, stomach-churning terror. Such is the reality of Stalinist Russia evoked so convincingly by Montefiore... This is a gripping, fast-moving tale of love, fear, sacrifice, and survival." - Booklist

"A novel full of passion, conspiracy, hope, despair, suffering and redemption…One Night in Winter is a gripping read and must surely be one of the best novels of 2013." - New York Journal of Books

"Compulsively involving. Our fear for the children keeps up turning the pages… We follow the passions with sympathy... The knot of events tugs at a wide range of emotions rarely experienced outside an intimate tyranny." - The Times (UK)

"Engrossing…. A mix of lovestory, thriller and historical fiction. Montefiore's knowledge of the period helps him bring 1945 Moscow to bleak, fascinating life" - The Observer (UK)

"A gripping thriller about private life and poetic dreams in Stalin's Russia… [A] pageturner… Whether its subject is power or love, a darkly enjoyable read." - The Guardian (UK)

"Montefiore writes brilliantly about love, timeless dilemmas, family devotion teenage romance and the grand passion of adultery. Readers of Sebastian Faulks and Hilary Mantel will lap this up." - Mail on Sunday, Novel of the Week (UK)

"A thrilling work of fiction. Montefiore weaves a tight, satisfying plot, delivering surprises to the last page. Stalin's chilling charisma is brilliantly realised. The novel's theme is Love: family love, youthful romance, adulterous passion. One Night in Winter is full of redemptive love and inner freedom." Evening Standard (UK)

"Seriously good fun…the Soviet march on Berlin, nightmarish drinking games at Stalin's country house, the magnificence of the Bolshoi, interrogations, snow, sex and exile…lust, adultery, and romance. Eminently readable and strangely affecting." - The Sunday Telegraph (UK)

"This tightly written page-turner crackles with authenticity and if you are wiping away a tear by the end it won't be the icy chill of the Soviet winter that's to blame." - Daily Express (UK)

"Delicately plotted and buried within a layered, elliptical narrative, One Night in Winter is also a … page-turner which adroitly weaves a huge cast of characters into an arcane world." - Time Out London (UK)

"A compelling read." - The Independent (UK)

"Gripping and cleverly plotted. Doomed love at the heart of a violent society is the heart of Montefiore's One Night in Winter... depicting the Kafkaesque labyrinth into which the victims stumble." - Sunday Times (UK)

"Snuggle up in front of the fire with a glass of red and this captivating story. A dark enigmatic thriller... the way [Montefiore] weaves fiction and history is a true gift." - Marie Claire (UK)

"A novel of passion, fear, bravery, suffering and survival… Its success is helped by Montefiore's pitch-perfect reconstruction of the golden tightrope that Moscow's elite walked under Stalin." - The Spectator (UK)

"Addictive, uplifting and terrifying." - A. D. Miller, author of Snowdrops

This information about One Night in Winter was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Simon Sebag Montefiore Author Biography

Photo © Hugo Burnand

Simon Sebag Montefiore was born in 1965 and read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). Catherine the Great and Potemkin was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar won the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards. Young Stalin won the Costa Biography Award (UK), the LA Times Book Prize for Biography (US), Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). Jerusalem: The Biography won the Jewish Book of the Year Prize, from the Jewish Book Council (USA). Dr Montefiore's books are published in forty languages. He is also the author of the novel, Sashenka. His new novel, One ...

... Full Biography
Link to Simon Sebag Montefiore's Website

Name Pronunciation
Simon Sebag Montefiore: SEE-bag mahn-tuh-FYOR-ay

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