Book club questions
(Please note: mild spoilers for The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers ahead)
1. Valentina uses a 'protector' to provide security and income so she doesn't return to her poverty-stricken roots. This was a practice of many ballet dancers of the era, both male and female. Was it an understandable choice for them to make, or do you think they had other options?
2. Luka is granted exemption from conscription when he joins the Imperial Russian Ballet, and struggles with guilt over not fighting for his country when his brother and so many others are. Do you think he made the right decision accepting the company position and exemption? What would you have done in his place?
3. Luka's father shows a lot of anger and resentment to Luka. Is his attitude understandable?
4. After the Russian revolution, the dancers of the Imperial Russian Ballet were considered symbols of the hated and overthrown aristocracy, because the company was owned and paid for by the Romanov family. Do you think this perception of them was fair? Should the dancers have been more aware of the civil unrest and impending revolution?
5. The Russian revolution has a complicated place in history. Many consider it both necessary, yet tragic in its outcome. What do you think?
6. If both Luka and Valentina had survived the revolution, do you think they would have had a future together? What would this future look like?
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