A Boy in Winter

A Boy in Winter

Book - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. This new novel from the award-winning author of the Booker Prize short-listed The Dark Room 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 deportation, 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 Yankel, a boy determined to survive this. But to do so, he must throw in his lot with strangers.

As their stories mesh, each of Rachel Seiffert’s characters comes to know the compromises demanded by survival, the oppressive power of fear, and the possibility of courage in the face of terror.

Rich with a rare compassion and emotional depth, A Boy in Winter is a story of hope when all is lost and of mercy when the times have none.

Baker & Taylor
"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"--

& Taylor

The lives of Jews in a small Ukrainian town become intertwined in the wake of the Nazis' arrival, including Ephraim, an engineer under the threat of deportation, Yasia, who has come to town to sell produce and search for her lover, and a young boy determined to survive.
In a small Ukrainian town that is overrun by the SS in 1941, the lives of its residents—including Ephraim, a Jew under the threat of deportation who awaits word of his missing sons; Yasia, who has come in search of her lover only to confront new and harsh truths about those closest to her; and a young boy determined to survive—become intertwined.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon, 2017
ISBN: 9780307908834
Branch Call Number: FIC SEI
Characteristics: 242 p. ;,22 cm.


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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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