cover image Winter Kept Us Warm

Winter Kept Us Warm

Anne Raeff. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61902-817-3

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. [em](Feb.) [/em]