Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recent Book read:Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

I just finished reading this book last week and I decided to write about it in case any one is interested to read, let's start by the short summary ( or intro) that you could always read on the back of the book:
"When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina 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 ago."
The story starts very simple, Nina Revskaya a former Bolshoi ballerina putting her jeweleries for auction. as she is doing that she remembers her life which is rather a painful memories due to communist Russia and her husband, her friends whom she left when she defected.
The story quickly focus on a specific set of jewelry ( a pair of Amber earing and bracelet ), as a Russian professor donates the missing part of the set ( Amber necklace) for the auction. so the big mystery is who is this guy and what is his relationship with Nina and why she is denying any connection to the necklace. 
There were many times I  taught I found out how the book is ending and what was the mystery behind all  but the author did a great job in turning the story in a way that you would not know clearly till the end of the book. 
As I said, the story is a flashback of current life in Boston to old life of Nina, Grigori ( Russian Preofessor) and Drew ( the girl in charge of the auction). it shows a very chilling facts about  lack of privacy and constant prying of Soviet eyes on its citizens and specially on artists like poets and musicians and composers. She  descibed the scens well so it was possible to have somewhat clear image of how the life was like in old Russia; the fear, mistrust ... in people, even the description of ambiance is done perfectly. I still got the feeling of coldness, gray life when I usually get form reading Russian literature ( like Crime and Punishment , The Idiot) but less.   
Nina character  is so difficult, cold and grouch specially at the beginning that I really disliked her, but the way her life was back in Russian makes it understandable. she is not an easy character to like but at the end you'll see she tries to redress her wrongs ....and  that's all everyone could ask .in overall, I liked the book  though I taught the end was little bit fast and felt like it was cut very soon. 
I loved the way she wrote it, a wrapped mystery that reveals slowly through multiple characters and flashbacks.I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to people who like historical fictions with a hint of romance, a hint of mystery, and  easily flowing plot.
So what have you've been reading lately, love to hear your book suggestions?
wish you all a wonderful day :)

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