Kat (A Journey In Reading)'s Reviews > Russian Winter

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
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's review
Sep 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, historical-fiction
Read in January, 2011

This novel includes so many things that I love. Ballet, stories of Russia, historical elements, and mystery. And what few women do not like jewels? This book has that as well.

Once a famous ballerina in the Russian Bolshoi Ballet, Nina Revskaya defected from Russia and found her way to America. In an attempt at a final curtain call on her past, Nina decides to auction her jewelry collection through a Boston auction house.

Drew Brooks is an associate with the auction house who is assigned to inventory and help set up the auction of Nina's jewelry. Drew is fascinated by the story behind Nina and why she left Russia.

Grigori Solodin is a Russian professor at a local university who believes that Nina can help him unlock the mysteries of his past.

The story interweaves these three characters lives and alternates between post-WWII Russia and 2003. We are shown the lives of ballet dancers, the mistrust of Russian government, friends and family, the betrayal that seems to lurk behind every corner, and love.

I loved how the life of Nina was detailed down to the technical terms of ballet. At times I could hear the dancers as they landed on the spring boards, could hear the music of the orchestra, could feel the fear of speaking about certain things in public. You could "hear" the pain in the life of Grigori as he tried to move on with his life after the loss of his wife, the excitement when new things were found.

The story is full of mystery, pain, betrayal, new starts and letting go. I will definitely look for more from this new author.
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