Dell, $7.50, 0-440-22482-9
Historical Fiction, 2000 (Reissue)
I have only read one other book by this author, some inane story about a woman who is so fabulously rich that she has to practically manufacture her own problems, and promptly ignored the rest of this popular author’s books. My tastes seldom match the majority’s anyway. But there I am, stuck in a sweltering hot and packed to the brim bus in Mauritius, with nothing to read but Granny Dan, bought at the airport. So I decide to immerse myself in this tale of Rich and Bored Porcelain People in Historic Russia.
This story is the flashback reminiscences of the life of Danina Petroskova, a fabulous – FABULOUS! – beautiful – BEAUTEOUS! – ballerina who shags a rich – VERY RICH! – handsome – VERY HANDSOME! – talented – FABULOUSLY TALENTED – married – UH OH – Dr Nikolai Obrajensky. Set amidst the ersatz grandeur of an idealistic pre-Russian Revolution era of the early 20th century, our two lovebirds have lots of problems to overcome before canoodling happily ever after in their Russian equivalent of Beverly Hills mansion. Such as deciding the color of Dani’s manicures. Or the pain of the inability to find good toilette.
Along the way we have the usual villainous people who wants to dig their grubby, perverted claws into the pristine, always immaculately clothed body of our fabulous Dani. Dani weeps artfully and poses dramatically, and makes fabulous love with Nikky the sensitive, one-dimensional dude under dim, elegant, and tasteful lighting.
While running through the Russian perfection of a rustic wilderness in careless abandon, our two lovers are swept up in the Revolution. Oh, the pain! The horror! All depicted in bland monotone of the one-sentenced, barely multi-syllable prose. It’s like reading a first-grade school kid’s attempt at reinterpreting the history of Russia. It’s not even bad enough to be funny. It’s just bad.
I’m sure one day someone would make a really bad TV movie out of this story.