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Extended Audio Sample Sashenka: A Novel, by Simon Montefiore Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (954 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Montefiore Narrator: Anne Flosnik Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Winter 1916: St. Petersburg, Russia, is on the brink of revolution. Outside the Smolny Institute for Noble Girls, an English governess is waiting for her young charge to be released from school. But so are the Tsar’s secret police …

Beautiful and headstrong, Sashenka Zeitlin is just sixteen. As her mother parties with Rasputin and their dissolute friends, Sashenka slips into the frozen night to play her part in a dangerous game of conspiracy and seduction.

Twenty years on, Sashenka is married to a powerful, rising Red leader with whom she has two children. Around her people are disappearing, while in the secret world of the elite, her own family is safe. But she’s about to embark on a forbidden love affair that will have devastating 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 betrayal and redemption, savage cruelty and unexpected heroism—and one woman forced to make an unbearable choice.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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…Montefiore shows that the historian seeking the truth must call upon creativity as much as upon meticulous research. It must not have been a stretch for this biographer to turn novelist. Here’s hoping we get more spellbinding historical fiction from him.”

    Washington Post

  • “The tale is thick and complex, and the characters’ lives take on a palpable urgency against a wonderfully realized backdrop. Readers with an interest in Russian history will particularly delight in Sashenka’s story.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Montefiore uses his knowledge of the Soviet period to shattering effect.”

  • “Montefiore’s command of Russian history makes the novel’s details especially vibrant.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Diana Jackson | 2/17/2014

    " Gripping epic. The kind of book I love to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Diana | 2/13/2014

    " This book was a fantastic read! It is well written and exciting to read- I could not put this book down! Would definitely recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Colin | 1/23/2014

    " Despite the publisher's blurb, this is not Doctor Zhivago nor Sophie's Choice. But it is a good page turner with great historical insight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa | 1/20/2014

    " Sad but worthwhile, giving insights into life during the revolution and under Stalin while uncovering a mystery. "

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About the Author

Simon Montefiore is an historian and the award-winning author of Jerusalem, Young Stalin, and Catherine the Great and Potemkin, among others. His books have been pyublished in forty languages, and Jerusalem was a #1 bestseller in the UK as well as President Bill Clinton’s #1 book of the year. Montefiore regularly lectures around the world on Russia, the Middle East, and other subjects such as leadership and revolution, and has written numerous articles for the New York Times. He lives in London with his wife, novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.