Saturday, September 4, 2010

RUSSIAN WINTER: MY REVIEW AND BONUS ENTRIES

GIVEAWAY ENDED
RUSSIAN WINTER

BY DAPHNE KALOTAY

MY REVIEW:

Daphne Kalotay’s richly narrated debut novel, RUSSIAN WINTER, weaves a multi-layered tale that creatively transports readers from Moscow to Boston, and from past to present. Filled with mystery, conspiracy, and romance, RUSSIAN WINTER gives one a look at the events that fashioned the life of a prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet and ultimately determined her fate. From the moment readers meet Nina Revskaya, now in her 80’s, they are whisked away by her story which combines characters and settings that keep the best of us captivated by every word.

Nina has contacted an auction house because she has made the decision to sell her incredible collection of jewelry with proceeds to benefit the Boston Ballet. Going through the pieces brings back memories both painful and sweet, reminding Nina of her past and how she was able to defect to the West. As the once lively and gracefully moving legs had carried her across many a famous stage, they now held her hostage in a wheelchair.

The associate director of the auction house, an American named Drew, is fascinated reading through the research on these jewels. Drew tries to trace the history and location of each of the items in the collection but is having trouble with some pieces of an amber colored jewelry. The more Drew tries to get information from Nina, the more she withdraws and becomes upset.

Kalotay takes the story back seventy years to Moscow when a young Nina and best friend, Vera, are first taken to the Bolshoi in order to audition for the school for future ballerinas. This flashback is beautifully written and I felt like I was in Moscow with the young children. At the end of this part, upon returning home, they find that Vera’s parents are gone and no explanation is given to young Nina. She wonders if they were forced to go, or had they left voluntarily to find a better place to live?

It was in Russia that Nina experienced the joy of the theater. It was also where she fell in love with Viktor Elsin, a poet, and conversely where she and her friends Vera and Gersh became victims of the Stalin regime. Nina also made a terrible discovery that provoked an extreme act of infidelity and finally, resulted in providing a chance for Nina to escape to the West which eventually led her to Boston.

As the story returns readers back to Boston, Drew meets Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian language whose past is linked to some jewelry that just happens to match one of Nina’s pieces. Solodin feels that this piece might be the answer to his background and many questions about his life. Of course, when presented to Nina, she denies having anything to do with it.

The climax that Daphne Kalotay created is shocking while also being sheer magic. I read with fear I would find out something I didn’t want to know as I came to care so much for the characters. Yet, also because of that, I HAD to know what all this meant. Reading RUSSIAN WINTER was magical, poignant, spell-binding, and fascinating. I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen but in turn, also hated to keep reading as I knew it would eventually result in finishing the book. RUSSIAN WINTER was a trip I would take again and hope that many more readers will get the chance. Daphne Kalotay is a force that the literary world had best be prepared for. I know I will be waiting eagerly for her next work.

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO MARK AND MY FRIENDS
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS EXCITING
NEW BOOK TO GIVE AWAY.




--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:
BONUS ENTRIES

+1 ENTRY:
COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THE REVIEW OF RUSSIAN WINTER AND IF IT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THE BOOK AND READ IT OR NOT

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ANOTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY OF MINE THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED. FOR EACH ONE YOU HAVE ENTERED, COMMENT SEPARATELY AND THEY WILL EACH COUNT FOR BONUS ENTRIES

+1 MORE ENTRY: GO TO ONE OTHER STOP ON THE BLOG TOUR AND COMMENT THERE AND COME BACK AND TELL ME WHICH STOP YOU WENT TO. PLEASE TRY AND VISIT THEM ALL BUT ONLY COMMENT ON ONE FOR ME HERE!

BONUS ENTRIES: WATCH FOR THE AUTHOR INTERVIEW IN A FEW DAYS AND COMMENT THERE TO GAIN EVEN MORE EXTRA BONUS ENTRIES!


GIVEAWAY ENDS
6 PM, EST, SEPTEMBER 19!
GOOD LUCK!

BLOG TOUR: The Blog Tour for this Fabulous Book includes the following sites so please visit them to see all they have to say about this WONDERFUL BOOK!

8/30/10 Story Circle Book Reviews Review & Interview
9/2/10 Book Loons Giveaway
9/2/10 Bookin’ With Bingo Review & Giveaway
9/5/10 Lisa’s Other Bookshelf Review
9/6/10 Bookin’ With Bingo Interview
9/7/10 S. Krishna’s Books Review & Giveaway
9/7/10 Book Club Girl Review
9/8/10 Beth Fish Reads Review
9/8/10 Reading Group Guides Guest Post
9/9/10 Reading the Past Review
9/9/10 Booking Mama Guest Post & Review
9/12/10 Sophisticated Dorkiness Review
9/13/10 Lori’s Reading Corner Review
9/14/10 Living Read Girl Review

115 comments:

Margie said...

Your review definitely made me want to read this book. The life of the little ballerinas in early Russia sounds fascinating.
mtakala1 AT yahopo DOT com

Margie said...

Entered for Capital Game.
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Margie said...

Entered Fierce Radiance giveaway.
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Margie said...

Entered for I'd Know You Anywhere.
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Margie said...

Entered for Charley's Web.
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bermudaonion said...

I'm really excited about that book - it sounds fabulous! No need to enter me.

Margie said...

Entered for Light of the Moon
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Margie said...

Entered for Judgement and Wrath
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Margie said...

Entered for Lock and Key.
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Margie said...

Entered for Edge of Winter
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DarcyO said...

Loved the review and yes, I want to read the book!

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Tore said...

I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. Sounds like a great book I would love to read. Tore923@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I want to win because I love to read books that I can't put down! Also, fascinated with Russian ballerinas ever since I bought a book about them at the Russian pavillion at the New York Worlds' Expo.

The author's mother is Canadian and her father is Russian.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

If Daphne Katotay couldn't be a writer, she would be a shoe designer.



CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I entered the contest for Fierce Radinance.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for
The Postcard Killers.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for
I'de Know You Anywhere.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for
Judgment and Wrath.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for
Swan.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for Light of the Moon.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for Promise Me.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for Last Night at Chateau Marmot.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the contest for Lock and Key.


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petite said...

I am fascinated and interested in this novel which sounds wonderful. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Capital Game. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Fierce Radiance. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Charley's Web. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered I'd Know You Anywhere. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Judgment and Wrath. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Swan. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Edge of Winter. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Postcard Killers. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Last night at Chateau Marmont. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I enjoyed reading this review which is excellent and just the type of book I enjoy greatly. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered capital game. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Charley's Web. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Fierce Radiance. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered I'd Know You Anywhere. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Last Night at Chateau Marmont. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Swan. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Light of the Moon. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Judgment and Wrath. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Postcard Killers. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

justpeachy36 said...

I think this looks likes a really good book. I love the ballet and the story line interests me.

Please enter me in the giveaway

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

A Musing Mother said...

Of course the review makes me want to read the book but so does the cover.

Also, when I grow up, I want to be a ballerina. Primadona.

I'm 44 years old. Want to see a pirouette?

Amy said...

I read a synopsis of this book and it sounded interesting. Then I read your review which told about a riveting tale about a young ballerina who grows up, that's filled with adventure, secrets, mystery and suspense and I am hooked. I totally want to read this book because I have been fascinated by Russia since I read a biography of tzar Nicholas and I've loved ballet for years.
Thank you!

Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

I entered your giveaway for Testimony by Anita Shreve


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Amy said...

I entered Fierce Radiance giveaway


Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

I entered your giveaway for I'd Know You AnyWhere.

Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

I entered your giveaway for Swan

Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Colleen Turner said...

Great interview! I love the idea of figurately traveling back in time via the memories of jewels. I wanted to read this book before, and now I definitely want to read it!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I entered the Dracula In Love giveaway.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I entered the A Fierce Radiance giveaway.
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Colleen Turner said...

I entered the I'd Know You Anywhere giveaway.
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Colleen Turner said...

I entered the Lock and Key giveaway.
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Colleen Turner said...

I entered the Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous giveaway.
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Colleen Turner said...

I entered the Last Night at Chateau Marmont giveaway.
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Pamela Keener said...

When you said you wanted to read the ending but dreaded to finish the book, I totally got that & I absolutely love & hate when that happens. It made me want to head straight away to my bookstore and get it for myself LOL.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered "The Postcard Killers" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered I'd Know You Anywhere" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered "Judgement & Wrath" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered the "Mr & Miss Anonymous" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered the "Swan" giveawy.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered the "Light of the Moon" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered "The Edge of Winter" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered the "last Night at Chateau Marmont" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered the "Wicked Appetite" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pricilla said...

I love stories like this and your review made the book sound so exciting.
Thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Pricilla said...

I entered for Top Chef
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Margie said...

I left a comment on S Krishna's Books blog.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Entered for The Good Daughters.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I loved the movie Dr Zhivago and though only 10 when I saw it, the history, the romance, the countryside was awesome. I'd love another trip to Russia to see how much I remember of this magical place.
(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

Entered the MOCKINGJAY: A GIVEAWAY contest

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

entered THE POSTCARD KILLERS


(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

Entered CHARLEY'S WEB

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I loved Fielding's book the "Puppet"

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com

bison61 said...

a book about mystery, conspiracy, and romance-that sounds good

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Mary said...

I've been intrigued by Russian history since my college days when I took a wonderful class that sparked my interest. Since then I've loved historical fiction that takes place in Russia. Your review has made me want to read Russian Winter.

meah56 at gmail dot com

Mary said...

I'm entered in the Swan giveaway


meah56 at gmail dot com

Mary said...

I'm entered in the Last Night at Chateau Marmont giveaway.

meah56 at gmail dot com

Meg said...

I also entered the Mockingjay giveaway.

megmarie412 at gmail dot com

Meg said...

This book sounds absolutely incredible. Everyone's reviews, including yours, makes me want to win one of these giveaways so badly!

megmarie412 at gmail dot com

nfmgirl said...

The way you describe this ending reminds me of how I felt at the end of Born Under a Million Shadows. I almost cringed in horror, worrying that something I didn't want to happen was about to. And the ending was so emotional and climatic, that it made it one of my favorite books of the year.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I visited S. Krishna's blog!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I entered your Swan contest

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I also entered Lock and Key


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nfmgirl said...

I also entered Swan

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I also entered Light of the Moon

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nfmgirl said...

I also entered Wicked Appetite


nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I also entered Last Night at Chateau Marmont


nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I also entered The Edge of Winter



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nfmgirl said...

I also entered The Human Bobby



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nfmgirl said...

I also entered Top Chef


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nfmgirl said...

I also entered qMockingjay


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nfmgirl said...

I also entered Gilded Lily

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nfmgirl said...

I also entered The Good Daughters

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hendy said...

I liked the review and I'll tell you one thing, I know Daphne Kalotay did too. I think the best compliment is that though you couldn't put it down you also didn't want to keep reading because it would end. I want this book so bad (and of course want to read it.)
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

hendy said...

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hendy said...

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hendy said...

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hendy said...

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