I picked up this novel because I love ballet and the plot had something to do with the subject. However, it’s more of a backdrop, and the main character, Nina Revskaya, is an aged, former ballerina, so the ballet portion of the story is minimal.
In Daphne Kalotay’s book, Revskaya decides to auction her collection of jewels, including some rare amber pieces, for the benefit of the Boston Ballet. The agent handling the auction, delves into Revskaya’s past in efforts to authenticate the pieces. Meanwhile, a college professor, Grigori, has an amber necklace that is the matching piece to Revskaya’s set. Adopted, Grigori is convinced there is a connection to the famous ballerina, but she has refused to speak with him.
As the mystery unravels, Kalotay transports her readers to Stalinist era Russia, to the Bolshoi Ballet, and introduces Revskaya’s husband and friends, who, along with their story, slowly begin to tell the story of the jewels and themselves.
In the end I did enjoy this story, but it took awhile. I was nearly 75% through the book when it grabbed hold of me and I began to be invested in the characters. Even so, I guessed at the ending ahead of time, so all her jumping back and forth in time to keep readers unaware was for naught. It was a good book, just not a great one.
3 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2010