Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Harper Perennial. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.
You might recall that Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay made my list of top-ten reads in 2010. Thus I'm thrilled that Harper Perennial is publishing a new trade paperback edition, complete with the extras (the P.S.) that give their books a special edge. Before I tell you what I loved about the novel, take a look at the publisher's summary:
When Nina Revskaya puts her remarkable jewelry collection up for auction, the former Bolshoi Ballet star finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed her life half a century earlier. It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of dance and fell in love, and where, faced with Stalinist aggression, a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape to the West.In my review of Russian Winter, I praised Kalotay for the way she "carefully and subtly draws us into the varied aspects of Nina's world," from the constant fear of being entrapped by the Soviet government to the world of Russian dance and the mystery behind Nina's jewels. As I said last fall, "Kalotay's prose should be savored, allowing the complex story to slowly unfold."
Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But now Drew Brooks, an inquisitive associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor who believes Nina's jewels hold the key to unlocking his past, begin to unravel her story—setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.
I'm not the only one who loved Russian Winter, let me quote some other reviews:
- Nancy Rommelmann, writing for The Oregonian, started her review this way: "Warning: You will be awake until 4 a.m. reading Daphne Kalotay's debut novel, Russian Winter, a work that near-seamlessly marries political terror, romance, and questions about love, art, truth and the risks we are willing to take to protect them."
- Dawn from She Is Too Fond of Books concluded: "The people, the settings, the history, and--most of all--the clever layered plot make Russian Winter a rare 'un-put-down-able' novel. I didn't want it to end."
- Emily Beardsley writing for the Baltimore Jewish Times noted: "Her story pulls at the reader's heartstrings and truly invokes an emotionalism that is the sign of a great writer. . . . Be warned--once started, this book will be highly difficult to put down."
Harper Perennial is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.