(K. Brent Tomer),
A Boy in Winter. By Rachel Seiffert. Virago; 237 pages; £14.99. To be published in America by Pantheon in August; $25.95.
HALFWAY through Rachel Seiffert’s new novel, when the SS death squad starts shooting, most readers will shudder. They all know, they think, what is coming: not just a gruesome depiction of the Nazis’ murderous campaign against European Jews, but the Holocaust narrative itself, by now a well-stocked shelf. It is a mark of Ms Seiffert’s gifts that her slender tale, “A Boy in Winter”, upends these expectations.
Here, Ms Seiffert, a British writer of German-Australian origins, returns to the subject of “The Dark Room”, her bestselling first book. As before, she focuses on the small and particular to evoke this largest of historical crimes.
In November 1941 a Ukranian town is the site of both a brutal roundup of the Jewish population and the building of a highway…Continue reading