Welcome to BOOK CLUB, which I run with co-conspirator Nicole from Linus’s Blanket. Today we will be chatting about The True Memoirs of Little K by Adrienne Sharp, which is being released in paperback by Picador on October 25th (website | twitter | facebook). For those of you reading this post, please remember that this discussion is likely to contain spoilers.
Here is the synopsis of the book I wrote for my review:
Little K was a prima ballerina, the lover of the last Russian tsar. A woman whose determination brought her into the beds of many members of the imperial family, but whose brilliant future was derailed when Russia as she knew it began to disappear, along with her beloved Tsar Nicholas II, and something where the concubine of the Romanovs was a dangerous thing to be. But perhaps it would be best to let Little K introduce herself in her own words, as this is a story she has been endlessly remembering for the past 50 years:
My name is Mathilde Kschessinska, and I was the greatest Russian ballerina on the imperial stages. But the world I was born to, the world I was bred for, is gone, and all the players in it are also gone – dead, murdered, exiled, walking ghosts. -p. 3
Before we get started, here are some of the reviews of readers who will be participating today:
If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page (please use the TOP subscription option, the second option will subscribe you only to replies of your own comments). I will be updating this post with new questions and ideas over the course of the day.
Here we go…
- First off, what were your general impressions of the book?
- Is this a book you would have read had you not been reading it for a book club?
- Near the beginning of the book, Little K makes this somewhat provocative statement about Nicki’s marriage to Alix. Do you think, based on the events of the book, that she was correct about this?
And what kind of wife would I have made him? Could I have stood his future – imprisonment and
a martyr’s death? I can assure you this: if I had been his wife, that would not have been his future. -p. 23
- What do you think was the root of Little K’s determination to be part of the tsar’s life? How did you feel about the way she positioned her son?
- Do you think that Little K fully understood the causes of the revolution? What helped or hindered her in this?
- Do you think that Sharp made the causes of the revolution clear to the reader?
12 review copies of The True Memoirs of Little K were provided by Picador in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you!