Jennie's Reviews > Russian Winter

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
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's review
Oct 06, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: gr-first-reads, read-in-2011, read-in-january, historical-fiction

This is one of those books I love – that crosses into more than one genre including both historical fiction and modern fiction. Nina is a beautiful dancer who grew up in the Russian Ballet becoming simply known as “The Butterfly” but she defects into the United States leaving tragic memories behind. Grigori Solodin is a college widowed professor who has translated Nina’s husband’s poetry into English. These two individuals are not mere strangers but an unknown connection strings them together as the reader is taken from the past to the present, experiencing the full weight of the Russian government. Nina and her husband were not omitted from the far reach of the Russian government, even with her highly held ballet abilities. Included in the story is not just the story of beginnings and making right a long past mistake but also of perseverance and tolerance and subtle, but strong push against the government that threatens to wipe out entire classifications of people.

Many novels that jump back and forth between the present and past seem to leave me lost, unsure of what decade I am in but this novel was full of fluid changes. Rather than chapters, this book was separated by the pieces of jewels Nina is auctioning, with the proceeds going to the Boston Ballet. Each segment is identified by the auction details of the piece and the next chapter unfolds swirling around that piece of jewelry. I loved this unique layout of the novel and believe that it formed the novel into its final complete package, helping to connect the past and the present.

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Reading Progress

October 6, 2010 – Shelved
October 16, 2010 – Shelved as: gr-first-reads
December 27, 2010 – Started Reading
December 27, 2010 –
page 31
December 28, 2010 –
page 58
December 30, 2010 –
page 119
January 1, 2011 –
page 246
January 1, 2011 –
page 287
January 2, 2011 –
page 422
January 2, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
January 2, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-january
January 2, 2011 – Finished Reading
April 9, 2011 – Shelved as: historical-fiction

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle I recently discovered that I love novels that jump between present and past. I will have to give this one a try.

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