Winter in Wartime

Dutch classic Jan Terlouw’s Winter in Wartime sees its first English translation in this Pushkin press edition. It is the Winter of 1944 and Nazi-occupied Holland is on its last legs.

Hunger and hardship are rampant, as the Dutch people wait in desperate hope for Allied liberation. When fifteen-year-old Michiel finds an injured British pilot in his charge, he must join the secret fight of the Dutch resistance. With spies and collaborators everywhere, Michiel and his family must risk everything in their final stand against their Nazi occupiers.

Winter in Wartime is not only a thrilling story of spies and resistance, but also a finely detailed account of wartime conditions. The novel is keenly aware of the collective experience of suffering; dark evening gatherings of travellers and those in hiding are painted with depth and sensitivity. The narrative frequently diverts from the main plot line to tell the stories of peripheral characters. The overall effect is one of twists and turns played out in visceral detail.

Notably for historical fiction concerning this period, Terlouw’s novel engages with the aftermath of war and reprisals. Rather than neatly tying up respective narrative strands, Winter in Wartime embraces the ambiguity of peace. Fans of historical fiction, war time stories, tales of spying and espionage alike will enjoy the first English translation of this Dutch favourite.