When she decides to auction her remarkable jewellery collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has drawn a curtain on her past. Instead she finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events that changed the course of her life half a century before. It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theatre; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions, Gersh, a dangerously irreverent composer, and the exquisite Vera became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia where a terrible discovery led to a deadly act of betrayal. Now living in Boston, Nina has hidden her dark secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest.