Winter 1916, in St Petersburg, snow is falling in a country on the brink of revolution.
Beautiful and headstrong, Sashenka Zeitlin is just sixteen. As her mother parties with Rasputin and her dissolute friends , Sahsenka slips into the frozen night to play her role in a dangerous game of conspiracy and seduction.
Twenty years on, Sashenka has a powerful husband and two children. Around her, people are disappearing though her own family seems safe. But she’s about to embark on a foreign love affair which will have devestating consequences.
Sashenka’s story lies hidden for half a century, until a young historian goes deep into Stalin’s private archives and uncovers a heartbreaking tale of passion and betrayal, savage cruelty and unexpected heroism – and of a woman forced to make an unbearable choice…
SASHENKA was published on 30th June 2008 by Bantam Press.
“Intensely moving, with an unforgettable climax that will touch the hardest heart.”
– Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans
– Daily Mail
‘Terrific stuff! The novel throbs with sex, maternal feeling, revolutionary fervour, and terror’.
– The Sunday Times
“This family saga captures both the epic travails of a Bolshevik elite that fell from grace and also – ambitiously – the enigmas of historical knowledge itself.”
“Powerful, erudite, well – structured, with a heroine who lingers in the mind when the story is finished.”
– The Spectator
“Spellbinding. Sashenka, Simon Montefiore’s first novel, is a historical whodunit with the epic sweep of a Hollywood movie. Montefiore is a natural storyteller who brings his encyclopedic knowledge of Russian history to life in language that glitters like the ice of St. Petersburg.’
– Washington Post
“Unforgettable. Inspiring. Montefiore proves a matchless storyteller, his prose harrowing and precise.”
– Wall Street Journal