In my eyes she had always been old, always been mine, always been Granny Dan.
But in another time, another place, there had been dancing, people, laughter, love... She was the cherished grandmother who sang songs in Russian, loved to roller-skate, and spoke little of her past.
But when Granny Dan died, all that remained was a box wrapped in brown paper.
Inside, an old pair of satin ballet shoes, a gold locket, and a stack of letters tied with ribbon.
It was her legacy, a secret past, waiting to be discovered by the granddaughter who loved her but never really knew her.
It was a story waiting to be told... The year was 1902. A motherless young girl arrived at ballet school in St Petersburg.
By the age of seventeen Danina Petroskova was forced to make a heartbreaking choice - as the world around her was about to change forever.
In this extraordinary novel a simple box, filled with mementos from a grandmother, offers a long-forgotten history of youth and beauty, love and dreams.