A Grand Passion

Mary Mackey, Author Simon & Schuster $17.45 (444p) ISBN 978-0-671-54077-7
To be a prima ballerina one must have dushasoul, heartas well as technical brilliance. Natasha Ladanova, a provincial boosted to brilliant stardom at the Russian Imperial Ballet School, has all three, coupled with a beauty that makes her mistress of a Grand Duke at 16, even as she pines for the love of an arrogant dancer. After fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution, Natasha dances with Sergei Maximov's Parisian company, and their on-again, off-again affair produces one, or possibly two, daughters. First-born Winn is sweet and practical; it is Tatiana who has her mother's winged feet. Marriage to Sergei's estranged son, Mihail, nearly ends Tatiana's career, but she and her husband attain fame in American films. A hotel fire orphans their daughter Alysa, who works arduously at becoming a ballerina in her own right. Ironically, however (and to Natasha's horror), Maximov proves to be the choreographer whose vision strikes a chord in Alysa, who is unaware that he is her grandfather. Mackey's (McCarthy's List exhilarating family saga brims with vibrant characters. 50,000 ad/promo; first serial to Good Housekeeping; to be TV miniseries; Literary Guild alternate. (April 17)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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