One Night in Winter: A Novel (P.S. (Paperback))
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
leather sofa as he resigned himself to a wait. After ten minutes, one of the Bakelite phones on the aide’s side desk rang. ‘Comrade Kobylov, Comrade Beria is on the phone for you,’ said the aide. Kobylov seized it hungrily: ‘Lavrenti Pavlovich,’ he said. ‘We’ve solved it. Yes, I’ll tell you. We’ve closed it! Well . . .’ Here Kobylov grinned triumphantly at Mogilchuk, who was still in awe of Beria. ‘It’s like this: Nikolasha Blagov loves Rosa Shako; she loves him. They want to get married. He’s
and find me. Do you know where I am? He cried and cried but even when the tears ran out, the fear remained. How had this terrible mistake been made? Surely they didn’t know he was ten. If only he had told them that, they’d have realized they had the wrong person. He could not believe they didn’t know who his mama and papa were. He replayed the night of the shooting on the bridge in his head: he was in the prison because of those deaths; he knew that. But had George and Andrei been arrested in
the middle: the only one with arms and a cushion. The school was a mini-Russia, thought Andrei. Every institution had its hierarchy just like the Party. Giant portraits of Stalin and the leaders hung from the walls behind (yes, there, fourth in order, was Satinov). For a moment, Andrei panicked as the five hundred pupils found their friends. They were all greeting each other after the holidays – what if he couldn’t find a seat? He caught George’s eye for a moment but George looked away. ‘Minka,
Americans, an air force captain, a broad-shouldered athlete with a buzz cut, asked Minka for her telephone number but she did not give it to him, her refusal making her even more desirable. The other Americans teased him, ‘Oh, he don’t often get turned down! There’s a challenge, Bradley!’ Sensible Minka, thought Serafima, however much fun this might be. The rules had loosened in wartime but her father had warned her that the Party would reinforce them again afterwards. Bradley, spurred on by his
character? Could the person they were looking for be a girl after all? ‘I know my Pushkin,’ he said guardedly. ‘But I don’t know if NV was animal, vegetable, or mineral.’ 42 ‘Good morning, Little Professor. Rise and shine!’ said the buxom prison warder whom Senka had nicknamed Blancmange. ‘Have you got any new words to teach us?’ Senka noticed her new tone. He was still in the silk striped pyjamas he had been wearing when he was taken; it was past time he changed them. His mother would