The True Memoirs of Little K

Adrienne Sharp, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-20730-4
Sharp impressively conjures the grand life of Mathilde Kschessinka, Russian prima ballerina and mistress of Czar Nicholas II, in her sweeping third novel (after The Sleeping Beauty). Narrated by Mathilde—"Little K" as she was affectionately known—the story follows her early life under her well-placed father's tutelage, and on through her determination, at 17, to catch Niki's eye, their affair, his breaking it off so he can marry his Alexandra, Little K's affairs with two grand dukes, Niki's return to father her son, the removal of his family from power, and her escape before the imperial family's slaughter. Sharp, a trained ballet dancer, gives the backstage escapades a lively spark and writes movingly of Russian dance. Though Mathilde is a bit narrow in terms of her icy ambition, her story is an unrelenting thrill ride and chockfull of the stuff that historical fiction buffs adore: larger than life characters, epic change, grand settings, and lusty plotting. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-3062-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4498-4456-1
Paperback - 378 pages - 978-0-312-61071-5
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4299-6285-8
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