The new novel from Rachel Seiffert, author of the Booker-shortlisted The Dark Room.
From the Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Dark Room, an extraordinary new novel: `A spellbinding evocation of fear and threat tinged with the possibility of hope and change' - Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. A Boy In Winter tells of the three days that follow and the lives that are overturned in the process. 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.
'Superb, delicately poised' FT
'Magnificent' Linda Grant
'A joy to read ' Helen Dunmore
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
Without wasting a word, Seiffert follows their journey with an implacable calm, although outrage lurks under the surface of every word — Literary Review
Completely captures those times in a vivid, precise, captivating and terrible way — Philippe Sands
Spare, elegant and devastating — Psychologies
Rachel Seiffert writes short, fast narratives about historical events that have shaped our time. This latest, unsettling work centres on a small Ukrainian town, weeks after the German invasion in 1941 as the SS round up and murder the Jewish inhabitants. We follow runaway children, a German engineer with doubts about the Nazis, and a young Ukrainian who has to decide whether to collaborate. Moral choices and their consequences are brought to life on the page. The ending is particularly moving — The Times
A spellbinding evocation of fear and threat tinged with the possibility of hope and change, — Philippe Sands, author of East West Street, Observer
Seiffert's writing is spare and atmospheric, perfectly paced to achieve the maximum effect of stillness yielding to panic, order giving way to violent disorder and, eventually, winter turning into spring — Times Literary Supplement
The power of her writing comes not from emotional manipulation or verbal fireworks but from her marshaling of the sort of visual detail that makes her settings feel almost tangible, and from the bonds she builds between her wary characters . . . with A Boy in Winter, Seiffert has unleashed literature's unique power to analyze history's scroll, to let fiction judge — New York Times
Rachel Seiffert's tale vividly evokes the Ukrainian landscape and the harrowing experiences of Jews at the hands of the Nazis — James Marriott, The Times
This year's standout novel — Willy Maley, Herald