Leningrad, September 1941. Hitler orders the German forces to surround the city at the start of the most dangerous, desperate winter in its history. For two pairs of lovers - Anna and Andrei, Anna's novelist father and banned actress Marina - the siege becomes a battle for survival. They will soon discover what it is like to be so hungry you boil shoe leather to make soup, so cold you burn furniture and books. But this is not just a struggle to exist, it is also a fight to keep the spark of hope alive..."The Siege" is a brilliantly imagined novel of war and the wounds it inflicts on ordinary people's lives and a profoundly moving celebration of love, life and survival.
A Tolstoyan epic of love and war; life and death...she writes beautifully Sunday Telegraph Remarkable, affecting...there are few more interesting stories than this; and few writers who could have told it better -- Rachel Cusk Daily Telegraph Utterly convincing. A deeply moving account of two love stories in terrible circumstances. The story of their struggle to survive appears simple, as all great literature should...A world-class novel -- Antony Beevor The Times Literary writing of the highest order set against a background of suffering so intimately reconstructed it is hard to believe that Dunmore was not there -- Richard Overy Sunday Telegraph A remarkable parable of human survival against the odds Mail on Sunday In this wise, humane and beautifully written novel she has written a masterpiece Independent A searing historical novel. Dunmore vividly evokes the unbelievable cold, privations and violence as people struggle to survive...an extraordinary description of the horrors of the time Sunday Express An important as well as a thrilling work of art Independent on Sunday A moving and powerful novel in which Dunmore employs all her celebrated descriptive and narrative skills...beautiful Daily Mail A harrowing, urgent narrative of cold, starvation and the battle to survive Sunday Times
Helen Dunmore has published eleven novels with Penguin: Zennor in Darkness, which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphans; Counting the Stars and The Betrayal which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.