"[E]very word here feels set down with care and fierce conscience. The resulting narrative glows as if distilled...Winter Kept Us Warm is deeply concerned with what makes a family, with inevitable, unanswerable loss, with the intricacies of language and time; love and war, friendship, the life of art and the imagination, and always (borrowing from Yeats) the quest of the “pilgrim soul.” In other words, just about everything that ever mattered. The novel’s own quest is one in which we can happily lose — and find — ourselves."—San Francisco Chronicle

"In many ways, this is a novel about absence — the absence of those most harmed by the war; the emotional absence felt inside relationships, romantic or otherwise...It is about the choices people slide into almost by accident that end up shaping their lives, and how this becomes clear only with the wisdom of hindsight. This kind of drama is quiet and subtle, but Raeff knows how to wield her words in this space, and makes small pronouncements devastating...[T]these characters are in the thick of their lives, and Raeff shows us their fullness in quick sketches, the way a skilled artist may convey movement and attitude with only a few penciled lines."—Los Angeles Times

"Raeff is a consummate storyteller, providing deep insight into her characters through her keen use of language and image. Depictions of places are similarly moving, both historically accurate and a vital part of the characters’ story. Readers’ emotions will run the gamut, rejoicing at quiet moments of happiness, and tearing up when tragedy strikes. These are characters—and choices—to think about long after finishing the last page."—Historical Novel Society

Publisher's Weekly Review:

In Raeff’s mesmerizing novel, beginning in post–World War II Berlin, a German woman’s life is forever changed when she meets two American soldiers. Following the war, Ulli makes a living as a translator for American soldiers while squatting in an abandoned apartment. She meets American soldiers Leo, handsome and stocky, and Isaac, the tall, scholarly son of Russian refugees, and the men share their food and drink with her. The relationship between the trio alters after Leo and Ulli become lovers and eventually marry. They move to New York, and Ulli stays by Leo’s side as he becomes a successful businessman, though she feels restless and bored. Isaac maintains his friendship with Ulli and seems much more attuned to her emotional needs than Leo. Though Leo and Ulli enjoy passion in their marriage, it’s Isaac who helps Ulli find fulfillment as an interpreter, leading to a complex love triangle. Richly depicting emotional interiority of its characters, Raeff’s novel reveals how the devastating effects of war and hidden secrets can impact lives across decades. (Feb.)

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