Book Review: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

May 3, 2011


“Russian Winter” by Daphne Kalotay(website | Facebook |Reading Group Guide )is a fictional book which follows the complex life of a Russian prima ballerina who defected to the US. The paperback edition includes discussion questions, a Q&A, a personal essay and recommended reading; Ms. Kalotay website has a dedicated For Book Groups page with tools for discussion and more.

The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “Russian Winter” to be given out– enter at the end of the post.
For more giveaways, please check out the Facebook Book Giveaway Group

Book Review: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
My rating for Russian Winter: 4
Buy Russian Winter from*

More Books by Daphne Kalotay*


“Russian Winter” by Daphne Kalotay is a complex book that’s difficult to describe. This is one of those books that you really need to pay attention while reading, reading it quickly will take away from the enjoyment.

There are many details about the book which are fascinating, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Bolshoi tryouts, dancing, the life of a ballerina and life in post World War II Russia in general. Ms. Kalotay goes into great detail about the frame of mind which an artist in an oppressive regime must undertake. The ballerina’s ability to shut everything out in order to perfect her craft is well written.

The book is well written but is not easy to read. I suggest you take your time with this novel, not only is the timeline rich and complex but also often shifts in space and time. The book covers many areas; ballet, Russian history, poetry, and general historical fiction – a bit of everything for almost everyone.

As I mentioned, this is a complex book and shoots off in many tangents. There is the story of Nina Revskaya, the ballerina which we meet as a small child and juxtaposed to her story in the twilight of her life. With Nina we are introduced to Drew Brooks who is Nina’s liaison in the auction house selling her jewelry (for charity) and a university professor named Grigori Solodin who is the translator of the poems written by Nina’s husband Viktor Elsin. Among the cast there are also several of Nina’s friends, some in the US but mostly in Russia.

I don’t enjoy ballet or poetry, but I did enjoy this book.
So tell me, what book did you enjoy that was about something you don’t enjoy in life?


Nina Revskaya a famous Russian prima ballerina has decided to auction off her jewelry collection for charity. Nina was once a great star of the world famous Bolshoi Ballet. The auction house assigns Drew Brooks to help Nina catalog the pieces, but Drew also wants to hear Nina’s personal stories which will ultimately help fetch a higher price. However, Nina is overwhelmed by memories of her youth and secrets of a lifetime.

Grigori Solodin , a Russian professor hears about the auction and donate a jewel he holds precious and believes it is the key to his own foggy past. Jumping in time and space, the story unfolds to explain love letters, poems and Mr. Solodin’s piece of his own past.

Buy Russian Winter from*
More Books by Daphne Kalotay*



  • Con­test is for one (1) new copy of “Russian Winter”.
  • There will be ONE (1) WINNER
  • Must be a US / Canada mail­ing Address
  • Ends Monday May 9, 2011
  • Win­ners will be cho­sen using
  • Win­ners will have 24 hours after my ini­tial con­tact to write back their mail­ing address, oth­er­wise alter­nate win­ners will be picked

Congratulations: kgavonf@
TLC Book Tour for “Russian Winter”:
Tuesday, April 5th: Library Queue
Wednesday, April 6th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, April 7th: nomadreader
Monday, April 11th: A Few More Pages
Thursday, April 14th: We Be Reading
Tuesday, April 19th: Books Like Breathing
Tuesday, April 19th: Chefdruck Musings
Thursday, April 21st: Book Addiction
Monday, April 25th: red headed book child
Tuesday, April 26th: Red Lady’s Reading Room
Wednesday, April 27th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Thursday, April 28th: Calico Critic
Friday, April 29th: Wordsmithonia
Monday, May 2nd: Historical Tapestry
Tuesday, May 3rd: Man of La Book
Wednesday, May 4th: In the Next Room
Thursday, May 5th: Life in the Thumb
Friday, May 6th: she reads and reads

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay


  • Heather J. @ TLC Book ToursMay 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I’m not a particular fan of ballet or poetry either but Soviet Russia does intrigue me. Good to know that my lack of passion for ballet and poetry shouldn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  • SamMay 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve had this one on my wishlist for ages!

  • Gently MadMay 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    This is one of many books that you have reviewed that sounds like something I’d really like to read so I’m going for the giveaway. i just understand what you mean by entries.

  • SharonHenningMay 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    What I meant in my last post was that I don’t understand what you mean by entries. Does it mean I can enter this giveaway five times?

    • zoharMay 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Hi Sharon, yes, it’s basically like entering five times.

  • SharonHenningMay 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I don’t see my first comment so let me try again. This is one of many books that you have reviewed that sound worth reading so I’m going for the giveaway. I also said I didn’t understand what you meant by entries hence my comment above.
    Since I’m here again I’ll answer the question you posed. I personally love ballet so that isn’t it. I don’t care for hunting or fishing but I love everything Pat McManus has written and have most of his books.

  • Michelle @ The True Book AddictMay 4, 2011 at 3:11 am

    I’ve been hearing great things about this book. I really want to read it! Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  • RyanMay 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your take on this book. This was one that I thought I may enjoy, but ended up loving for a host of reason I never expected.

  • kimbers10May 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    You have such great books for your giveaways!

  • booksnobMay 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Another book I need to win. I have actually been to Russia and visited the Winter Palace and saw the Bolshoi ballet there. Very cool. It has been 20 years and maybe I should go back.

    • zoharMay 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      Very cool, good luck 🙂

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