The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers – Kerri Turner

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Petrograd, 1914. A country on a knife-edge. The story of two people caught in the middle – with everything to lose…

A stunning debut from a talented new Australian voice in historical fiction.

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 fulfills 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…

A powerful novel of class turmoil, passion and just how much two people will sacrifice…

My review

Magnificent! A dance of words! Kerri Turner’s novel The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers is one of my favourite reads this year. The words dance with oneanother on the page. I am impressed by the author’s knowledge of ballet and more than this, her ability to write a novel that allows the reader to feel as if they are watching a ballet production. The entire novel felt like a stage performance. It was beautiful.

The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers provides insight into the days of the romanov dancers, their struggles in a wartorn country, as they attempted to bring joy to people who faced grief and devastation only to be shamed for their choice to dance rather than fight for their country. Valentina and Luka are characters whose passion for dancing has inspired the lives they lead. They have both come from backgrounds of less affluence than that of the ballet. I loved both characters more and more as I continued to read the novel.

There is a reason why I love historical fiction… I always learn more about history and the world we live in. I feel a sense of gratitude to those who lived in darker times than we do and for their attempt to bring light into those dark times and for future generations. This novel taught me a lot.

I do believe that dance and music connect with the soul and this novel did just that for me. The image above includes my first dance recital costume that my mum lovingly sewed for me. She kept it for all of these years and it has so much meaning for me. What a beautiful novel. It was everything and more than I hoped it would be.

Thank you Kerri Turner for hosting a giveaway. I am very grateful to own a signed copy of your novel.


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