Daphne Kalotay burst onto the literary scene two years ago with her gorgeous and haunting debut novel Russian Winter. Nina Revskaya was once a great ballerina, the star of the Bolshoi, or Soviet ballet troupe. But now, she's put all that behind her and has decided to auction off her jewelry collection, one of her last links to her difficult past. But when a young associate at the auction house named Drew Brooks begins to dig into the history of the jewels, it brings back memories that Nina has repressed for a long time. It was beautiful and evocative, and readers have been waiting anxiously for Kalotay's second novel, Sight Reading, releasing this week.
Sight Reading focuses on three different characters — Remy, Hazel and Nicholas — and how their lives are intertwined. Nicholas and Hazel are a happily married couple with a young daughter; Nicholas is a conductor working in Boston while Hazel is caring for her ailing parents in North Carolina. Though they don't believe that the distance puts any strain on their marriage, Nicholas' wandering eye may have devastating consequences for Hazel.
Remy is a young violinist, and from the moment Nicholas walks into the room as her conductor, he catches her eye. Their relationship develops slowly, and Remy finds herself falling for the charming man. Twenty years later, Remy and Hazel meet in a chance encounter, and while it might seem random and insignificant, it's a symptom of the larger way the lives of these three people are inexorably intertwined.
Daphne Kalotay has once again written a gorgeous novel that readers absolutely won't be able to put down. Capturing 20 years from 1987 to 2007, these characters will grow and change in front of the readers' eyes. What's more, the settings, which jump from the United States to Europe and back again, will come alive in readers' minds. It's a worthy follow-up to an incredible debut novel, and one that will leave Kalotay's fans, as well as those new to her work, clamoring for more — which is why it's our pick for Red Hot Book of the Week.
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