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Winteraffaire

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  288 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
“a perfectly balanced novel of love and tragedy.…The beauty of the streets of Moscow is a majestic backdrop to a play of mistrust and deception where friends, even the best of friends, can turn against each other in fear.” Waterstones

The action of Despite the Falling Snow moves between present day Boston and 1950s Moscow. After an early career amongst the political elite o
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Paperback, 316 pages
Published 2003 by Archipel
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(showing 1-30 of 853)
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Chelsea
May 11, 2009 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have seen several lesbian genre movies based on Sarif's novels and then found this book. What a wonderful and tragic love story alternating between modern day Boston and Moscow in the throes of the 1950's Cold War just the rule of Stalin comes to a close. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good love story mixed with politics.
Ulla
Sep 02, 2014 Ulla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this novel! It's beautifully written, dramatic, tragic and has a great insight into the 50's history of the then Soviet Union.Shamim Sarif amazes me!
And just as good on second reading!!! Can't wait to see the film!
Judith
Apr 14, 2016 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf, 2016
4,5 stars
Evelina
Mar 02, 2012 Evelina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loveeeed this book beyond words. Shamim Sarif's writing is beautiful and delicate and the story line hooks you in so you feel like a character in the novel! Amazing book.
Denise
Jul 27, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been such a great book to read. I practically read it in one sitting. The backdrop for this story is the 1950’s Russia. It gives us a good idea of what living in a totalitarian state was like. And it even comes short to what it truly was like I assume. It’s full of suspense, and you put together the puzzle with every other chapter.

The pace is right on, the travel in time back and forth works nicely for the story, and the story is really good. I could really connect with the main charact
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Blodeuedd Finland
It could have been a sad book, but I never felt that sadness, cos you just knew from the start. Fine I admit, I had some foolish notions of hope. But you need hope!

The book takes place in Boston in -98 and in 50s Soviet. Where you can understand life is crap. In Soviet Alexander and Katya meet. Alexander works for the government, and that means a better place to live, in the city, and other perks. Yes communism sure was good for everyone, not. Katya is a spy and I sure got why. Her parents were
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Jade
Aug 26, 2012 Jade rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in more than a week, which for 350 pages is quite a long time for me. This is because despite the aura of mystery, Communism and international spying, I never found it fascinating enough to read for long stretches at a time.
Fastidious is probably the word that describes it better. It seems that Shamim Sarif wants you to think exactly what she herself thinks about all her characters. Her descriptions are very detailed, with many adjectives, but apply mainly to the characters' psy
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Discoverylover
Jul 13, 2015 Discoverylover marked it as got-bored-so-gave-up  ·  review of another edition
I read about 30 pages of this but wasn't enjoying the flowery language, so stopped.
Jo Barton
Apr 30, 2016 Jo Barton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love and betrayal are the two themes at heart of this dual time novel which is set in the turbulent years of The Cold War during the mid-nineteen fifties, and also some forty years later in Boston in the late-nineteen nineties. The story focuses on the relationship between Katya and Alexander who meet in Moscow and where despite all odds, and their different political viewpoints, they meet and fall in love. But there are secrets and lies between them and although Katya hopes that she can start a ...more
Anne
Apr 12, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite The Falling Snow is a story of love and betrayal, told in two different eras. The story opens in Boston, USA in November 1998 and the reader is introduced to two of the main characters in the story; Estelle and Alexander. They meet on a bench outside Alexander's business head office, he's just about to close the deal to sell his successful empire. Estelle is the mother of Melissa; the woman who wants to buy it.

The reader is transported back many years to post-Stalin Russia. Alexander is
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Sim Carter
Mar 15, 2016 Sim Carter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Despite the Falling Snow has a lesbian love story as a sub-plot, that is really a minor key, so don’t get scared off if you think a ‘lesbian love story’ is not for you. The relationship between Katya & Alexander is the primary storyline. That being said ...

Now that I’ve read Shamim Sarif's Despite the Falling Snow, I’m looking more forward than ever to the film. Directed by the author, the story features Katya—played by Rebecca Ferguson in the movie—a female spy in Cold War Moscow who
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Silvia
Apr 06, 2016 Silvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a perfectly balanced novel of love and tragedy, moving back and forth between Boston in 2000 and Moscow in the late 1950's, while Cold War was taking place. It gives us a good idea of what living in a totalitarian state was like.
The main focus is Soviet Russia of the mid 1950's and the mystery of what happened to a woman, Katya, trying to defect to the US. Set against this is the story of her husband, Alexander, now a successful businessman in present day Boston, who has never known the
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Carla
Mar 17, 2014 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that the story was a little bit predicted, it is an amazing book!
I love the way Shamim writes, how she describes every emotion and characterizes a character.
It is impossible not to feel anything while reading this book. I probably looked like a crazy in the train: laughing, crying, angry face, sad.
I can't wait to watch the movie!
Lizzi
Apr 13, 2016 Lizzi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this! Good mix of past and present, difficult story sensitively told. Review here: https://theselittlewords.com/2016/04/...
Diane Brown
Easy to read. Interesting plot but the movement between one time period to another on each chapter began to bother me. In the end a good story line
Burcu
Jan 11, 2014 Burcu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, tragic story lovers, historic novel lovers
Shelves: ebooks
Everyone should read this book!!

I'm surprised this book is so little known, because it's just a heartbreakingly lovely story, I loved it.

The backdrop for this novel is Russia in the 1950's; the beautiful Katya spies on the idealistic politician Alexander. Tragically she falls in love with him.

The story switches back and forth between Boston in 2000 and Moscow in the late 1950's; that is, every uneven chapter takes place in Boston and every even chapter takes place in Moscow. This pacing actual
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Rachel
Apr 24, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of love and tragedy, set in modern day Boston and 1950's Moscow. Alexander Ivanov escaped cold war Russia and built a successful life in Boston but he never forgot the love of his life, Katya. In present day Boston, two women force Alexander to confront a past life of secrets and tragedy in post-Stalinist Moscow and begin to live in the present.
Shamim Sarif portrays passion, violence and tragedy with captivating elegance and the emotion of the piece creeps up on you with gentle s
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Shonna Froebel
Jan 10, 2013 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel moves back and forth between late 2000/early 2001 and the late '50s/1960 and the cities Boston and Moscow. In the more modern time period Alexander is in negotiations to sell his catering company to Melissa, when he meets Melissa's mother and begins finally thinking about a new love. His artist niece Lauren gives him a gift that reawakens the past.
In late 50s Moscow, Khrushchev is in power and making changes, Alexander works for the government and meets the love of his life Katya. But
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Isadore
Jun 06, 2013 Isadore rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, this is a first. I just can't finish this book. The plot is interesting, and it's been holding my attention on and off as I've tried to make my way through it. But it's just not enough. The concept of back and forth in time from chapter to chapter is one that's been done in many books. But it just doesn't...work in this one. It becomes far too disjointed, and the entire thing starts to plod as I continue to push through it.

I picked this book up on an Amazon recommendation whim,
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Barbara Seward
Predictable. There was nothing earth-shattering or novel about this story.
Becky
Aug 14, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
This really is a very sweet story. The main focus is Soviet Russia of the mid 1950's and the mystery of what happened to a woman trying to defect to the US. Set against this is the story of her husband, now a successful businessman in present day Boston, he has never known the exact fate of the wife he left behind in the USSR and finally is confronting the past. The characters are well written and convincing, and the whole thing holds together very well. I couldn't help feeling that the book is ...more
Alisa Temme
Jul 10, 2015 Alisa Temme rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply beautiful. I enjoyed every page and can highly recommend it.
Baljit
Jul 31, 2011 Baljit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a pleasant surpirse having never heard of this writer.

It alternates between present-day Boston and 1950's Soviet. Of events that occured between the protagonist, Sasha, Katya who he marries and thier close friend, Misha. A close but sinister triangle of love, hate, jealousy all fuelled by the Soviet regime. Of blackmail, lies, jeopardy and double jeopardy with fatal consequences and a truth only revealed decades later.
Francesca
Apr 18, 2015 Francesca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The extent of my knowledge about Russia is from novels devoured about the Fall of the Tsar and before, so this has been an enlightening read, I had never considered what it might be like during the Cold War. More importantly though, Sharif writes brilliantly, drawing you in to the tense political and emotional issues that surround the main characters. Hope the film does it justice.
Diana
Nov 01, 2014 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing I don't like about this book is that leaves you wanting so much more! The writing is amazing as always, and the characters are awesome. I wouldn't mind a sequel or prequel or some sort of second part that delves more into the characters lives.
Angel Catharian
Okay book, not a very surprising story, in fact quite predictable. Well written, but the story could have done with a nice plot twist or something.
Tabea
Dec 31, 2012 Tabea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: winter-2012
Good story, but some of the characters were a bit flat and schematic. Also, the amount of spelling mistakes really bothered me.
janek
Mar 23, 2009 janek rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
The writing is pretty bad. I skipped around for the good parts then promptly returned it to the library.
Kathy
Sep 16, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent novel based in modern Boston and 1950s Russia. Well written, suspensful
Jeff
Oct 01, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little too wordy but it will make a great movie.
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Shamim Sarif (born September 24, 1969) is a British novelist and filmmaker of South Asian and South African heritage. Her roots inspired her to write her debut novel, The World Unseen,which explores issues of race, gender and sexuality, which she later adapted into a film starring Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth. The novel won the Pendleton May First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. She has also ad ...more
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