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The Last Days Of The Romanov Dancers Paperback – 21 Jan 2019
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About the Author
Kerri Turner is a historical fiction author who lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and miniature schnauzer. She trained from a young age to become a ballerina, but life had other ideas for her. After gaining an Associate Degree (Dance) and Diploma of Publishing (Editing, Proofreading and Publishing), she combined her love of ballet, history and books to discover a passion for writing which far outweighed anything she'd done before. She still dances, passing on the joy of ballet to those who never got the chance to experience it—or thought their dancing years were behind them—by teaching adults-only and over-55s classes.
She loves to share details about her writing process, and the books she is reading, and can be found doing so on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Pinterest and Litsy. For book updates and other material visit her website www.kerriturner.com.
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The story centres around Valentina Yershova and Luka Zhirkov, both dancers in the Romanov Imperial Russian Ballet. Both having lived with poverty, Valentina was determined to build a better life for herself, utilising her talent and the help of her male protector. While Luka is finally realising his dream of being a dancer he struggles with not having the acceptance of his father who feels he's disregarding his responsibilities in regards to the war. As Valentina and Luka grow closer, Luka's guilt grows ever stronger as he is drawn into the lavish lifestyle of the dancers. As the momentum of the revolution intensifies Valentina and Luka are forced to make tough, life changing decisions.
Kerri Turner really knows her stuff when it comes to ballet. Her descriptions were so rich and vivid that it made no difference that my knowledge of dance before reading this novel was almost zero. I loved the slow building romance which for me made the attraction between Valentina and Luka so much more believable. And the descriptions of poverty, unrest, and uprising were both heartbreaking and tense.
The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers was such a wonderful debut novel that kept me gripped from start to finish. I'm really looking forward to reading what Kerri Turner publishes in the future.
Thanks so much to the publisher for providing me with a copy for my honest review as part of the HQBookClub.
Valentina and Luka were fascinating characters: both passionate and driven in relation to their careers, and yet expressing those qualities in such different ways. Their personal stories had so many undercurrents of tension, not least of which was the fact that neither Valentina nor Luka ever felt truly secure or happy as they pursued their professional dreams and, eventually, a clandestine relationship with each other. And on that note, I applaud the author for keeping graphic descriptions of said relationship—and others—to a minimum!
The author’s love and knowledge of ballet shines through in a way that will be accessible even to those who know nothing about the subject, but it was the way the historical setting was brought to life, and Valentina’s and Luka’s stories within that setting, that captured me most and held me fast to the end.
It’s definitely a “Brava” from me for this fellow-Australian’s debut novel.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.