The True Memoirs of Little K Summary and Reviews

The True Memoirs of Little K

A Novel

by Adrienne Sharp

The True Memoirs of Little K
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2010
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

Ninety-nine years old, with a sharp memory for every jewel she owned and every conquest she made, Mathilde Kschessinska, - prima ballerina assoluta of the long-vanished Russian Imperial Ballet - sits down to write her memoirs.

And what a life it has been. The greatest dancer of the age, her scything technique caught the eye, and heart, of one Nikolai Romanov when she was only seventeen years old. When Nikolai ascended the throne as czar and was forced to give up his mistress, she turned her gaze on his cousins, the grand dukes; despite betraying each man with the other, her loyalty to Niki never wavered. As the last czar presided over a fatally crumbling empire, her devotion to the imperial family was tested in ways she could never have foreseen.

In Adrienne Sharp's richly imagined novel, we see the seething beginnings of revolution and the blind giddiness of a doomed court. Based on fact, The True Memoirs of Little K is historical fiction as it’s meant to be written: passionately eventful and alive with emotions that resonate today. It is a magnificent entertainment.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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." - Publishers Weekly

"Balletomanes, devotees of stories about the Romanovs, and those who enjoyed Sharp's previous books are the likely audience. Other readers probably won't put up with Little K's self-centered recollections and Sharp's excessive descriptions of the Russian aristocracy." - Library Jounral

"With intimate word paintings of historical characters—Rasputin makes an appearance—and with a strong-willed heroine, Sharp's novel will appeal to lovers of the genre" - Kirkus Reviews

"I tore through this delectable book like a box of elegantly crafted chocolates. Even now, I keep riffling though the crumpled gold wrappers, wishing there was more. A fascinating, carefully researched and intricately rendered portrait of the last tsar and his clever, talented and wildly ambitious mistress, prima ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska. Bravo, Little K." - Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

"This novel is a rare and rich pleasure, full of exquisite details of the Russian imperial court, of ballet, of diamonds, of intricate love affairs backstage in theaters and palaces in a vanished world." - Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin and Sashenka

"Mistress of grand dukes and Russia's last tsar, Mathilde Kschessinska was the fabled prima ballerina assoluta of St. Petersburg’s Maryinsky Ballet during the Empire's last decades. In The True Memoirs of Little K, novelist Adrienne Sharp reveals the passion, greed, and lust for life behind the fairy tale of the ballerina’s real memoirs, and the secret about her son's paternity that it's easy to believe just might be true." - Lynn Garafola, author of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes

The information about The True Memoirs of Little K shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Duane F. (Cape Girardeau, MO)

A book of fascinating times
"The True Memoirs of Little K" wound its way through one of history's greatest time periods. Fiction based upon history has a way of bringing cold facts the breathe of life necessary for us to live history not just observe it. Adrienne Sharp's attention to detail and lyrical voice made the turmoil of Russia's upheaval more meaningful and real. Often historical fiction can be melodramatic, but in this case her portrayal of Little K rings clear. Bravo, I loved it!

Pamela F. (Grants Pass, OR)

Historical Fiction that makes you want to read more...
I love historical fiction. I especially love it if something moves me enough to make me want to find out more about and event during that time. This book does just that. I have put it down a couple of times to read up on Bloody Sunday...to look at the described Faberge eggs online, to find pictures of Little K.

Fascinating book, fascinating woman, fascinating time in history. Well written and true to the character who is telling the story. This book is going to be a great Christmas gift for several friends.

Susan F. (Rabun Gap, GA)

A Historical Rollercoaster
A recent trip to Russia prompted an intense study of "all things Russian", particularly those final tragic years of the Romanov dynasty. What a clever and entertaining way to live those years through the eye of the impetuous "Little K", prima ballerina and mistress of Nicholas II.

I felt like I had been seated on a rollercoaster beside Miss K as she lived those absorbing years of St. Petersburg glitter, yet I also felt the darker brooding of the "rest of Russia", so ignored by the doomed court which would lead to the Revolution and its aftermath.

Many readers, particularly the history buffs, will find this a delightful way to absorb the pageantry of this remarkable era in Russian history. I highly recommend to all.

Jeanne M. (Vancouver, WA)

War and Peace
If you have read "War and Peace", you have read the prologue to "Little K's" memoir.

I found this memoir filled with details of the opulent era of the Russian Imperial Ballet, fascinating. Following her life as a dancer and as the mistress of Tsar Nikolai Romanov, was engaging and filled with intrigue.

Ms. Sharp brings to life "Little K" who escapes the chaos of the uprising of the Bolsheviks and finds her way to Paris where the glories and tragedies of a century of Russian Ballet and Russian history become the beginnings of the Paris Ballet. While this not an easy "read" (it is filled with the names of royalty on and off the stage) it brings to life the tremendous swing in the life of the Russian people and the movement of the center of the ballet world. I found the story engaging, and filled with descriptions of the best of times, and the worst of times in Russian history.

Theresa W. (Apollo Beach, FL)

Little K delivers Big!
Adrienne Sharp deftly weaves the tale of a prima ballerina and the Russian court who captured her love and catapulted her career. The reader is immersed in the excesses of the imperial Czars and the frustration and poverty of the masses. The love story travels the vast Russian kingdom and survives revolutions and wars. What more would you expect from a historical novel? Well done!

Sarah B. (Streamwood)

This is really good historical fiction
This book was fantastic. It weaves the known history of the time, and expanding on the story of a well known person of the time. There are also little sneak peaks, at what was coming in the future. Reading Little K's "memoir" was filled with the salacious gossip of the time, and gives the reader an insider's view. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about the history of the czars, especially Nicholas II.

...9 more reader reviews

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Adrienne Sharp trained at the prestigious Harkness Ballet and has been a Fiction Fellow at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. She is the author of White Swan, Black Swan and The Sleeping Beauty.

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