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 Romanovs' 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, relying not only on her talent but her alliances with influential men that grant them her body, but never her heart. Then Luka Zhirkov - the gifted son of a factory worker - joins the company, and suddenly everything she has built is put at risk.
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 civil war tightens its grip and the country starves, Luka is torn between his growing connection to Valentina and his guilt for their lavish way of life.
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 revolution, passion and just how much two people will sacrifice…
'A wonderful debut from author, Kerri Turner ... Through her own work as a dancer, and thorough historical research, Turner has created figures that literally dance off the page. Like the influence of the ballet company itself, the characters will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.' -- Caroline Beecham, author of Eleanor's Secret and Maggie's Kitchen
'...beautiful, daring, deceptive and surprising.' The Australian Women's Weekly
'an accomplished debut' Sunday Mail Adelaide