When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi ballet, believes she has drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the aged dancer finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events—both glorious and heartbreaking—that changed the course of her life half a century before. It was in Russia that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; there that she and her dearest companions became victims of Stalinist aggression; and there that a terrible discovery led to a deadly act of betrayal—and to an ingenious escape that eventually brought her to the city of Boston. Artfully interweaving past and present, Moscow and New England, the behind-the-scenes tumult of theatre life and the transformative power of art, Daphne Kalotay’s luminous debut novel affirms that even in the presence of evil, suspicion, and fear, the human spirit reaches for transcendence and love.
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