Russian Winter

International Acclaim


“Kalotay’s prose is strikingly precise and intelligent. The plot moves inexorably to a climax that clarifies the many historical and existential mysteries of the story, revealing a writer of powerful craft, with a hand both delicate and sure.” —Mario Fortunato

Times Literary Supplement

“Kalotay’s novel draws the reader in and maintains its momentum throughout. It is a satisfying mystery with a finely drawn plot. Kalotay is equally effective when dealing in broad brush strokes—life in Soviet Russia—and the minutiae of modern life, such as the party Grigori attends at the home of a pretentious academic couple…. The book benefits greatly from the light, natural way in which Kalotay handles specialist knowledge—of ballet, gemology and academia. She never strikes a false note, and the characters are believable within their own world. The secrets at the heart of the novel are treated as delicately, and guarded as carefully, as the precious stones at the story’s centre, and only revealed at the novel’s satisfying end.” —Eimear Nolan

The Guardian

“Intelligent, moving, and flitting seamlessly between the artistic salons of Soviet Russia and the Boston of today.”

The Independent

“Stories within stories start to emerge, as if from a nest of stacking dolls…. This highly readable saga by the short story writer, Kalotay, does a convincing job of conjuring up life in Soviet cultural circles just after the war.”

Lancashire Evening Post

“Magnificent… Written with passion, vision and a genuine empathy for the Russian people, Kalotay’s well-paced story interweaves historical intrigue with a modern-day enigma, allowing the past to shine a light on the present.”

Peterborough Evening Telegraph

“Well paced, with plot twists that keep the mystery going. However, it’s not a book to be rushed; it’s definitely one to savour and get lost in.” —Lisa Hylton


“A memorable love story cleverly disguised as historical fiction.” —Viv Groskop

Choice magazine

“A pleasing combination of historical novel and literary mystery.”


“[Kalotay] maintains a thriller-like tension over almost 500 pages… [Russian Winter] offers its readers a broad spectrum of literary treats: The vivid experience of history, extreme suspense in following the ever-escalating mysteries, and a good deal of romance and drama.” —Tatjana Zilg

Augsburger Allgemeine

“A book of two beautifully interwoven love stories, fascinatingly sad and without sentimentality, telling of love, jealousy, deception, guilt and abandonment.” —Stefanie Wirsching

Kleine Buchnacht

“The story is deeply thrilling and touches the heart – it will raise your blood pressure.” —Arno Udo Pfeiffer

Ruhr Nachrichten

“With emotion, suspense and beautiful language, [Russian Winter] tells the life and love story of two—actually three—likeable individuals, who are mysteriously connected by fate. Touching, intoxicating, first class reading material.” —Britta Helmbold

La Vanguardia

“Carefully and skillfully constructed… a love story with a historical backdrop and subplots that open windows into specialized areas not commonly seen: [Russian Winter] takes the reader inside Russia’s premiere ballet company, auction houses and the amber business.” —Sergio Vila-Sanjuann


“An elegant novel, graciously shifting between Stalinist Russia and contemporary Boston in pliés and pirouettes. The secret is unraveled slowly, as Kalotay skillfully draws the reader into her story. A compelling novel.” —Mirjam Bosgraaf


“The three storylines are brilliantly intertwined.”


“Much more than mere behind-a-cultural-scene entertainment, well-rendered as that world is; it’s also a window into an older world of poetry, dance, betrayal, true and false love, thwarted ideals and secrets kept tighter than a sealed drum.”

Me Naiset

“[Russian Winter]moves seamlessly and beautifully between two worlds and times.” —Anne Helttunen

Kansan Uutiset

“Enchanting fiction that is a pleasure to read… full of wonderful historical nuances.” —Anni-Helena Leppälä

Warkauden Lehti

“An exciting and absorbing story about Soviet artists and their lives.” —Taina Rissanen

Kosmos Tou Epenthiti

“Kalotay reveals the world of the famed Russian ballet company… and the power games behind the applause, the compliments and the smiles.”

France Dimance

“This novel is first of all a magnificent love story, one of betrayal & redemption. But it is also a grand and deeply moving depiction of Russia during Stalin’s era.”


“Fascinating… [Russian Winter] will surprise you as you read along.”

Bladet Vesteralen

“Powerful and evocative… you will love Russian Winter.”

Kvinner og Kl¿r

“An amazing story about ballet, jewels, love, betrayal, secrets, and life in Stalin’s Soviet Russia. ”

Rzeczpospolita Po Godzinach

“This is the way you write thriller. This is the way you write romance. This is the way you write biography. But most of all – this is the way you write bestsellers. And all of the above prove to be true after reading [Russian Winter] ”

Magazyn literacki ksiąźki

“For those who love art, jewels and outstanding drama… a book you won’t be able to put down. ”