A Boy in Winter

A Boy in Winter

Book - 2017
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"From the award-winning author of the Booker Prize-short-listed The Dark Room, a startling portrait of the Nazis' arrival in Ukraine as they move to implement the final solution. Otto Pohl, an engineer overseeing construction of a German road in Ukraine, awakens to the unexpected sight of SS men herding hundreds of Jews into an old brick factory. Inside the factory, Ephraim anxiously scans the growing crowd, looking for his two sons. As anxious questions swirl around him--'Where are they taking us? How long will we be gone?'--He can't quell the suspicion that it would be just like his oldest son to hole up somewhere instead of lining up for the Germans, and just like his youngest to follow. Yasia, a farmer's daughter who has come into town to sell produce, sees two young boys slinking through the shadows of the deserted streets and decides to offer them shelter. As these lives become more and more intertwined--Rachel Seiffert's prose rich with a rare compassion, courage, and emotional depth, an unflinching story is told: of survival, of conflicting senses of duty, of the oppressive power of fear and the possibility of courage in the face of terror"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2017]
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780307908834
Branch Call Number: FIC Seiffert R
Characteristics: 242 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Recommended by Sue, Cedarville Community Library. "Another WWII historical fiction, but this time set in Ukraine in a tiny village caught between the retreating Russians and the advancing Germans. How would you treat your neighbors if you were witness to history?"

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May 18, 2019

An amazing and profound novel. I just finished reading it for the second time.

Jul 30, 2018

Extremely dark universe, based in historic fact. Excellent, suspenseful read, however difficult and upsetting scenes of realistic violence and suffering.

Jun 22, 2018

This story takes place over three days in the Ukraine in 1941with the arrival of the German SS. It is told through three main characters - an engineer who has joined the party but tries to minimize harm, a young woman and two young boys. It is about courage in the face of terror and ultimately, hope.

Nov 15, 2017

A short, but powerful novel about a WW II Ukrainian village and the interactions between villagers, SS troops, local militia, and the resident Jewish population. Any neo-Nazis out there should read this to better understand the horrific legacy they purport to support.

Sep 24, 2017

This was an absorbing book. The first part of the book is setting the stage for what is to come.
We are following several characters in a town in Ukraine when the Germans push the Soviets back and take over. All characters are essential to the story
I have read Seiffert's The Dark Room which was actually 3 novellas, one of which made into the excellent movie Lore.
Seiffert is the grandchild of Nazis. She has known this all her life. Her mother German, her father Australian. She is bilingual. Her grandparents did not gas Jews, or loot apartments, or do horrific things but they were true believers in National Socialism. How this has affected her inside herself I cannot know but all her writings are about this period in history.
The final 100 or 120 pages of the book are difficult to read but I was driven to know what happens. Tremendous suspense. I know from studying this period that the events are true. P.S. A little German, not usually explained but it doesn't matter.


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