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A Boy in Winter: A Novel
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2017
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Description
Early on a gray November morning in 1941, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. Penned in with his fellow Jews, a father anxiously awaits word of his two sons, while a young woman, come to fetch her sweetheart away from the invaders, must confront new and harsh truths about those closest to her. At the same time, a German engineer, here to avoid a war he considers criminal, 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, a boy determined to survive must throw in his lot with strangers. As their stories weave together, each of these characters comes to know the compromises demanded by survival, the oppressive power of fear, and the possibility of courage in the face of terror.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/01/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307908841
ASIN:
B01MRGO3FS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Rachel Seiffert. (2017). A Boy in Winter: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Rachel Seiffert. 2017. A Boy in Winter: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Rachel Seiffert, A Boy in Winter: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Rachel Seiffert. A Boy in Winter: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Seiffert, Rachel
      • bioText: Rachel Seiffert’s first novel, The Dark Room, was short-listed for the Booker Prize, won the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize, and was the basis for the acclaimed motion picture Lore. She
        was one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003; in 2004, Field Study, her collection of short stories, received an award from PEN International. Her second novel, Afterwards, and her third, The Walk Home, were both long-listed for the Orange/Baileys Prize for Fiction. In 2011, she received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Seiffert’s books have been published in eighteen languages. She lives in London with her family.
      • name: Rachel Seiffert
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2017-08-01T00:00:00-04:00
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title
A Boy in Winter
fullDescription
Early on a gray November morning in 1941, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. Penned in with his fellow Jews, a father anxiously awaits word of his two sons, while a young woman, come to fetch her sweetheart away from the invaders, must confront new and harsh truths about those closest to her. At the same time, a German engineer, here to avoid a war he considers criminal, 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, a boy determined to survive must throw in his lot with strangers. As their stories weave together, each of these characters comes to know the compromises demanded by survival, the oppressive power of fear, and the possibility of courage in the face of terror.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Seiffert has unleashed literature's unique power to analyze history's scroll, to let fiction judge."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Boston Globe
      • content: "Seiffert packs a great deal into a small amount of space. Her prose style resembles a cello onstage played in the pitch dark. Sonorous and somber and yet what use it makes of just a few notes. . . . [She] is such a patient and poised storyteller that, even though history tells us otherwise, like all the characters in the book, we read toward its terrible climax believing--perhaps it will not happen."
      • premium: False
      • source: Financial Times
      • content: "Superb, delicately poised."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian
      • content: "[Seiffert's] spare, beautiful prose is a joy to read."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Economist
      • content: "A close study of moral choice. . . . Most literature of the 'third generation' after the war explores the impact on its descendants. Ms Seiffert's fictions are different: they inhabit the events themselves. Yet from all-too-familiar horror they swerve into the unexpected, into a new story--a gleam in the darkness that readers haven't seen before."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Times Literary Supplement
      • content: "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."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2017
        Three very bad days in the Ukraine, November 1941.Seiffert's (The Walk Home, 2014, etc.) contribution to the ever growing shelf of Holocaust fiction provides an emotional close-up of the experiences of several characters in a small Ukrainian town on the day the German troops arrive to round up the Jews, the day the nightmare begins in earnest: a brave, desperate teenage boy who runs off at dawn with his younger brother hours before their other family members are herded with every other Jew in the area into a holding pen. A young woman from the surrounding countryside whose boyfriend has finally returned from service with the defeated Russian troops. That beaten, desperate young man himself, who has no idea what's coming when he next signs up with the Germans. A German engineer who has taken on a road-building project out here in the boonies, naively thinking it will allow him to avoid involvement in the worst crimes of the Reich. As the SS troops storm into town, unleashing a torrent of madness, terror, and murder, the main characters are forced into the most difficult and most important decisions they will ever make. Of course their paths will cross. Of course at least one of them will make a serious mistake. It seems wrong to call a Holocaust novel predictable; the reason we keep retelling and rehearing this story is not because we don't know how it ends. It is because we do. This novel allows the reader to imagine and to empathize, to have a vivid moral experience, while managing to avoid the surfeit of violent, horrific detail that can sometimes result in a kind of genocide porn. All the notes of the Holocaust song, including the rare ray of hope, are played in this spare, fast-moving novel.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2017
        The SS occupies a Ukrainian town and rounds up all the Jews except for two brothers who manage to hide. Yasia, a farm girl, travels to the town in search of her fiance, enlisted as a laborer for the Nazis. German engineer Otto struggles to build a road for the Reich he despises. These three story lines intertwine, illustrating how evil affects ordinary people. Seiffert's (The Walk Home, 2017) characterization is well-realized, with a Nazi Sturmbannfuhrer (military officer) portrayed with more complexity than archetypal villainy. The novel truly shines in its offering of diverse, authentic perspectives. Some Ukrainians view the Germans as a better alternative to the oppressive Soviets, for they build infrastructure and allow farmers back on their land. While there is no open hatred, simmering resentment and fear form a better them than us attitude towards the fate of the Jewish inhabitants. Others possess a less faulty moral compass, yet one act of naive compassion spawns foreseeable and terrible tragedy. Seiffert does provides more successful instances of kindness as well as hope in her accomplished literary work.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2017

        It may be slim, but this latest from Seiffert (The Walk Home) effectively captures the looming horror of the Holocaust. In World War II Ukraine, as Ephraim is marched into a red brick factory with other Jews, he searches desperately for his two sons, whom he suspects have disregarded German orders to line up. In fact, with little brother Momik in tow, rebellious adolescent Yankel is slipping furtively through the village's back streets, where they are spotted by farmer's daughter Yasia, who is in town to sell apples. She's also hoping to see her fiance Mykola, who's working with the Germans after having served with the Red Army, a fraught circumstance clarifying the terrible realities of the bloodlands at that time. Yasia decides to shelter the boys, even as the roundup of Jews continues and townsfolk huddle indoors, desperate to deflect danger from themselves and wishing the Jews and hence the Germans would soon be gone. Meanwhile, Otto Pohl, a German engineer helping to build a road through the nearby marshes, comes to realize the full horror of the Nazi regime he's silently opposed, as Seiffert captures events in visceral detail. VERDICT A quietly persuasive work; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 2/27/17.]--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 15, 2017

        In World War II Ukraine, Ephraim is marched with other Jews into a red brick factory and searches the crowd for his two sons, whom he suspects have disregarded German orders to line up. In fact, they're slipping furtively through the back streets and are spotted by farmer's daughter Yasia, who decides to offer them shelter. From one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, whose recent powerhouse novel, The Walk Home, was long-listed for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2017

        It may be slim, but this latest from Seiffert (The Walk Home) effectively captures the looming horror of the Holocaust. In World War II Ukraine, as Ephraim is marched into a red brick factory with other Jews, he searches desperately for his two sons, whom he suspects have disregarded German orders to line up. In fact, with little brother Momik in tow, rebellious adolescent Yankel is slipping furtively through the village's back streets, where they are spotted by farmer's daughter Yasia, who is in town to sell apples. She's also hoping to see her fiance Mykola, who's working with the Germans after having served with the Red Army, a fraught circumstance clarifying the terrible realities of the bloodlands at that time. Yasia decides to shelter the boys, even as the roundup of Jews continues and townsfolk huddle indoors, desperate to deflect danger from themselves and wishing the Jews and hence the Germans would soon be gone. Meanwhile, Otto Pohl, a German engineer helping to build a road through the nearby marshes, comes to realize the full horror of the Nazi regime he's silently opposed, as Seiffert captures events in visceral detail. VERDICT A quietly persuasive work; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 2/27/17.]--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Early on a gray November morning in 1941, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. Penned in with his fellow Jews, a father anxiously awaits word of his two sons, while a young woman, come to fetch her sweetheart away from the invaders, must confront new and harsh truths about those closest to her. At the same time, a German engineer, here to avoid a war he considers criminal, 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, a boy determined to survive must throw in his lot with strangers. As their stories weave together, each of these characters comes to know the compromises demanded by survival, the oppressive power of fear, and the possibility of courage in the face of terror.
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