One Night in Winter

A Novel

by Simon Sebag Montefiore

On Sale: 05/05/2015

One Night in Winter

A Novel

by Simon Sebag Montefiore

On Sale: 05/05/2015


About the Book

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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“As Stalin twists the Children’s Case to his own ends, the truly magnetic power of One Night in Winter becomes clear. The stirring of our deepest fears and their unexpected resolution—at this, Montefiore is the master.” - Washington Post

“Enthralling…. Mr. Montefiore, an English writer hailed for his works of history and biography, is masterly at sketching scenes (passionate, melancholy or menacing) and limning characters…” - Wall Street Journal

“This finely written chronicle of privileged adults and children afraid for their lives in the treacherous upper reaches of Stalin’s Russia in 1945 is in a league of its own.” - Wall Street Journal, “Best Books of 2014”

“Compulsively involving. Our fear for the children keeps up turning the pages…. We follow the passions with sympathy... The knot of events tugs at a wide range of emotions rarely experienced outside an intimate tyranny.” - The Times (London)

“A gripping thriller about private life and poetic dreams in Stalin’s Russia…. [A] pageturner….Whether its subject is power or love, a darkly enjoyable read - Guardian (London)

“This tightly written page-turner crackles with authenticity and if you are wiping away a tear by the end it won’t be the icy chill of the Soviet winter that’s to blame.” - Caroline Jowett, Daily Express (London)

“Sebag’s new novel draws in the reader and renders time meaningless. Brilliantly depicted.” - Jewish Chronicle

“A novel full of passion, conspiracy, hope, despair, suffering and redemption….One Night in Winter is a gripping read and must surely be one of the best novels of 2013.” - Steve Emmett, New York Journal of Books

“Addictive, uplifting and terrifying.” - A. D. Miller, author of Snowdrops

“Sudden, mysterious arrests. Brutal interrogations. The crushing of any hint of antigovernment thought. Constant, stomach-churning terror. Such is the reality of Stalinist Russia evoked so convincingly by Montefiore..… This is a gripping, fast-moving tale of love, fear, sacrifice, and survival.” - Booklist

“Montefiore…does an excellent job of portraying the paralyzing tension of powerful high-ranking Soviet officials who are powerless to protect their own families…. Highly recommended reading for fans of thrillers, historical fiction, and history.” - Library Journal

“Engrossing…. A mix of lovestory, thriller and historical fiction. Montefiore’s knowledge of the period helps him bring 1945 Moscow to bleak, fascinating life” - The Observer (London)

“Montefiore writes brilliantly about love, timeless dilemmas, family devotion teenage romance and the grand passion of adultery. Readers of Sebastian Faulks and Hilary Mantel will lap this up.” - Mail on Sunday (London), Novel of the Week

“A thrilling work of fiction. Montefiore weaves a tight, satisfying plot, delivering surprises to the last page. Stalin’s chilling charisma is brilliantly realised. The novel’s theme is Love: family love, youthful romance, adulterous passion. One Night in Winter is full of redemptive love and inner freedom.” - Evening Standard (London)

“Seriously good fun…the Soviet march on Berlin, nightmarish drinking games at Stalin’s country house, the magnificence of the Bolshoi, interrogations, snow, sex and exile…lust, adultery, and romance. Eminently readable and strangely affecting.” - The Sunday Telegraph

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

“What happens when you cross Donna Tartt’s The Secret History with one of the scariest times in Russian history? You end up with Simon Sebag Montefiore’s One Night in Winter….Based in truth, this novel will keep you biting your nails until the very end.” -

“Delicately plotted and buried within a layered, elliptical narrative, One Night in Winter is also a … page-turner which adroitly weaves a huge cast of characters into an arcane world.” - Time Out London

“A compelling read.” - The Independent, (London)

“Gripping and cleverly plotted. Doomed love at the heart of a violent society is the heart of Montefiore’s One Night in Winter.. depicting the Kafkaesque labyrinth into which the victims stumble.” - Sunday Times(London)

“A tense historical thriller set in a beautifully crafted world…. Moscow in 1945 comes alive in a wholly believable fashion…. A masterpiece of modern historical fiction.” - Sunday Mail (Scotland)

“Snuggle up in front of the fire with a glass of red and this captivating story. A dark enigmatic thriller... the way [Montefiore] weaves fiction and history is a true gift.” - Marie Claire (UK)

“A novel of passion, fear, bravery, suffering and survival…. Its success is helped by Montefiore’s pitch-perfect reconstruction of the golden tightrope that Moscow’s elite walked under Stalin.” - The Spectator

“In this engrossing novel, the setting is the USSR shortly after the end of the Second World War.... As Simon Sebag Montefiore explains in an afterword, this is based on similar real events, and certainly his ease with the setting and certain historical characters is masterly....” - Scotsman

“A kind of Virgin Suicides for the Soviet set, speaking to much that’s dark in the human soul—but to what can redeem it, too.” - Kirkus Reviews


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062291899
  • ISBN 10: 0062291890
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 05/05/2015
  • Pages: 496
  • List Price:19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Historical
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Sagas

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