'A beautiful haunting novel… looking at a familiar London through a frosty, snowy lens. Wonderful' Caryl Phillips
The London winter of 1947 is as cold as St Petersburg during the Revolution. Albertine, the wife of a British army officer often abroad on covert government business, finds herself increasingly lonely. Eager to distract herself with work, she takes a job as companion to the mysterious 'Monsieur Ka', a Russian émigré. As she is drawn into Ka’s dramatic past, her own life is shaken to its foundations. For in this family of former princes, there are present temptations which could profoundly affect her future.
Goldsworthy is an elegant writer, skilful at building atmosphere. Her fiction-within-fiction device is clever and intriguing ... the novel could hardly seem more of the moment
It often takes an emigre to describe a country most clearly, and Goldsworthy, who was born in Belgrade but has lived in London for 30 years, is proving a most accomplished poet of her adopted city ... A delight
In all three of her books, Goldsworthy has displayed a gift for creating atmosphere ... One of Goldsworthy’s strengths is the sensitivity with which she portrays the many marriages in the book ... Much of the pleasure of reading this remarkable novel comes from its passionate dedication to the power of stories.
In this subtle, intelligent novel, Albertine's narration of events in 1947, as her own story begins to carry reminders of Tolstoy's, proves poignant and effective
A beautiful haunting novel… looking at a familiar London through a frosty, snowy lens. Wonderful