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An entrancing portrait of love in exile, with a twist.

'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

Rose Wild, The Times

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

Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

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.

Lara Feigel, The Guardian

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

Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times

A beautiful haunting novel… looking at a familiar London through a frosty, snowy lens. Wonderful

Caryl Phillips

A wonderful novel, entirely original, and entirely absorbing… The atmosphere she creates is exceptional

Carmen Callil

Goldsworthy enjoys playing with the classics, and she's good at it

Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Oldie

Mournful and evocative… It makes for compelling reading.

Book Oxygen, Elsbeth Lindner

Evocative and affecting

Rabeea Saleem, BookRiot

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    March 15, 2019


    288 pages

    RRP $19.99

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