REVIEW: Kerri Turner’s ‘The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers’
The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers
Petrograd, 1914. A country on a knife edge. The story of two people caught in the middle – with everything to lose…
Valentina Yershova’s position in the Romanov’s Imperial Russian Ballet is the only thing that keeps her from the clutches of poverty. With implacable determination, she has clawed her way through the ranks to soloist, utilising not only her talent, but her alliances with influential rich men that grants them her body, but never her heart. When Luka Zhirkov – the gifted son of a factory worker – joins the company, her passion for ballet and love is rekindled, putting at risk everything that she has built.
For Luka, being accepted into the company fulfils a lifelong dream. But in the eyes of his proletariat father, it makes him a traitor. As war tightens its grip and the country starves, Luka is increasingly burdened with guilt about their lavish lifestyles.
While Luka and Valentina’s secret connection grows, the country rockets toward a revolution that will decide the fate of every dancer.
For the Imperial Russian Ballet has become the ultimate symbol of Romanov indulgence, and soon the lovers are forced to choose: their country, their art or each other…
AusRom Today review:
The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers is a stunning historical fiction story that encapsulates the time, location, and mood of Russia during WWI through the eyes of Valentina Yershova and Luka Zhirkov, dancers in the Romanov Imperial Ballet Company.
Turner’s knowledge of ballet is impeccable as is her ability to delicately weave the tumultuous and often fragile waves of human nature and emotion that occurred in the face of class division, familial disapproval, and the pressures of giving one’s body, but not her heart, to her country and ballet company.
We’re predicting this will be the book everyone talks about in 2019; it’s a must read and five stars from AusRom Today.
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