Kim's Reviews > Russian Winter

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
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's review
Dec 31, 2011

liked it

3 1/2 stars.
I took this description off Amazon: When Nina Revskaya puts her remarkable jewelry collection up for auction, the former Bolshoi Ballet star finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed her life half a century earlier. It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of dance and fell in love, and where, faced with Stalinist aggression, a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape to the West. Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But now Drew Brooks, an inquisitive associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor who believes Nina's jewels hold the key to unlocking his past, begin to unravel her story—setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.

Overall I liked this book and was anxious to see how it would end. I found the parts told by the character, Grigori Solodin, to not be as interesting which is why I didn't give the book 4 stars. Fortunately his parts aren't a large part of the book. I also had a hard time connecting the young Nina with the old Nina. Old Nina isn't very likable.

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Comments (showing 1-2)

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Paige Im glad someone else was having a hard time connecting the two Nina's. Although I understand how she became so different in old age I kept having to remind myself that they were the same people.

Lenny Granger As a former dancer and also a writer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., I found this book one of the best I've read about lives of artists, particularly ballet. Weaving dancers, writers, and musicians into a plot that continues to entertain and enlighten, I found the book moving and stimulating. I agree with those who say understanding the connection between old and young Nina, and find the great gap between her escape from communist Soviet Union and present-day Boston auction of the dancer's exquisite jewelry too spare. In addition, allustion to an accident that apparently ended her career is never explained, as one expects for so profound an event.

My only other criticism is that Nina never has a bad performance, she is always the best, and cannot err. This I find unrealistic, but the mistake does not significantly marr the overall joy I had in reading it

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