One Night in Winter

One Night in Winter

3.91 (3,025 ratings by Goodreads)

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 385.55g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062291890
  • 9780062291899
  • 802,451

Back cover copy

Inspired by events in Stalin's Moscow at the end of WWII, One Night in Winter begins with the shooting of two teenagers in the shadow of the Kremlin. As the children of Soviet officials, they inhabit a rarefied world that revolves around the exclusive Josef Stalin Commune School 801. The school is an enclave of privilege--but one that hides a wealth of secrets.

Stalin launches a ruthless investigation. In what comes to be known as the Children's Case, youths from the school are arrested by state security services and brought to the infamous Lubyanka, where they are forced to testify against their friends and families. Among the betrayed are illicit lovers whose reckless passion could destroy all they hold dear. As Stalin's witch hunt reaches its climax, the lovers realize that the decision to follow one's heart comes at a terrible price.
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Review quote

"Not just a thumpingly good read, but also essentially a story of human fragility and passions."--The National
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Rating details

3,025 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 28% (856)
4 43% (1,294)
3 22% (673)
2 5% (155)
1 2% (47)
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