Honestly this wasn't a 4 star until the end. For about halfway through, I was super annoyed by the breaks into the present, I was far more interested in Nina's life in Soviet Russia. The ballet scenes were beautifully written. I love everything about the scenes taking place in Russia, in fact, for the first half or three quarters I was pretty convinced it would have been a better novel altogether had it been merely telling the story of Nina and her escape from Russia rather than using the sell of her jewels as a framing device of her past. I'm not entirely convinced that it wouldn't have been a 5-star book had it done so. I think I would have been more pleased altogether.But towards the end the present starts having a little more relevance, and I got more absorbed. It really does deserve the 4-star rating. It's beautifully written, the scenes in Russia are stunning and engaging. I just wish there had been more of that and less of Nina in America.