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Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
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Russian Winter (2010)

by Daphne Kalotay

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6935013,735 (3.68)22
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Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
current day Boston — Russian Ballerina reflects on her life in Comm. Russia before she escapes — and heartbreak of so many disappearing — Grigori adopted son of someone 50 yrs old — has Amber Pendant — auction of her jewels for Boston Ballet!
Very good

Former Bolshoi ballerina Nina Revskaya auctions off her jewelry collection and becomes overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, the friends she left behind amidst Stalinist aggression, and the dark secret that brought her to a new life in Boston.
  christinejoseph | May 17, 2018 |
20.1 option 2
  suequeblue | Jan 22, 2018 |
Stories that revolve around a physical object always intrigue me. The hidden history a thing has been a silent witness to can be a great way to tell a story and fire the imagination so that’s why I picked up this book which hinges on a woman selling her jewelry collection. For the most part it delivers, but it was a little prolonged in places where the pacing just dragged.

It does have a good sense of mystery and Nina’s dramatic past. While I can understand where she’s coming from, Nina is a jerk and continues to be a jerk because she can and people let her. She’s content that she’s revered and respected, but doesn’t care if no one likes her. She uses her history as an excuse to deny things to people, be rude and keep herself at a distance. I didn’t want to spend time with her, but finished the book so I could know what happened. It wasn’t wholly predictable and had some good moments of surprise. Nina’s past and Gregori’s present came together nicely. ( )
1 vote Bookmarque | Jun 26, 2017 |
If you like historical fiction I would recommend this book. It has some intrique, a love story, and some history about life in Russia after WWII. ( )
  INorris | Jun 8, 2017 |
Surprisingly well-constructed historical novel set in Stalinist Russia, with the added evocative setting of the Bolshoi Ballet. Either the structure (letting slip the slightest clues at exactly the right times) was really smart, or I'm a really dumb reader. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Despite its engaging suspense, pristine character development, and jolting plot twists, the novel’s sentences can feel rambling and comma-heavy. Certain passages burst with unnecessary asides and needless details, which at times can bog down this otherwise gripping conflict. Other times, some characters’ behavior is so melodramatic as to make them seem cartoonish. These hammy expressions are distracting, as if to force readers to feel for these characters when, in actuality, such empathy comes naturally to a writer like Kalotay.

The length of the novel also makes for a small but noteworthy letdown—the climax is spectacular but disproportionate to a 459-page story. It comes slowly, meticulously, and fantastically—but then it quickly goes, with a resolution that also feels too short.

Still, Russian Winter is a fantastic first novel. The drama of Soviet oppression isn’t laid on too thick, and the hidebound world of the Bolshoi ballet, though pertinent to Nina’s life, doesn’t suffocate the story. Instead, human emotions breathe human qualities into this novel: passion, pain, love, jealousy, insolence, regret, loneliness, loss.
added by sduff222 | editThe Rumpus.net, Lindy Moore (Feb 7, 2011)
 
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Silloin opin tietämään, ettei rakkaus ole vain ilon lähde tai leikki, vaan osa loputonta elämän tragediaa, yhtä lailla sen ikuinen kirous kuin kaikkinielevä voima, joka antaa sille merkityksen.
NADEŽDA MANDELŠTAM
Hänen miehellään oli vanhanaikaiset käsitykset jalokivistä: mies osti niitä vaimolleen tunnustukseksi siitä, mitä ei osannut kauniisti ilmaista.
WILLA CATHER
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MAMUKALLE
JA IMRE JA BAMBI FARKASSIN MUISTOKSI
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The afternoon was so cold, so relentlessly gray, few pedestrians passed the long island of trees dividing Commonwealth Avenue, and even the little dogs, shunted along impatiently, wore thermal coats and offended expressions.
Quotations
A song keeps running through my head, the one about the husband missing his wife like a wave misses the shore – over and over again.
She senses, for the first time, how far away one can be from one’s own life, how contentedly distant. The gaping enormity of the universe, its endless possibility…She feels it, an aura, an inkling: the illusion of absolute freedom.
‘How can you be this way? How can you act as if nothing is wrong’ He walked away, because of course it was dangerous to do what I was doing. Later that day, my husband came and sat down next to me and said to me, so quiet, he said, ‘Don’t you see, I have to believe in him.’ He meant Stalin. He said, ‘I have to believe. Otherwise, how can I get up out of bed in the morning?”
...there are only two things that really matter in life. Literature and love
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Book description
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.
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Former Bolshoi ballerina Nina Revskaya auctions off her jewelry collection and becomes overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, the friends she left behind amidst Stalinist aggression, and the dark secret that brought her to a new life in Boston.

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