A stunning dancer, choreographer, Anyaskaya d’Borovik, was born thirty-five years ago into New York City’s driving, churning energy. Her mother, now departed, was an adventurous, high strata White Russian exile while her father, now also departed, was keeping to the Russian tradition of mysticism long practiced by the venerable d’Borovic family. Though thoroughly American, Anya embodies these clashing traits lucidly in a unique but believable characterization, which makes her distinct in New York’s high society and heralded artistic circles. In both, her raven-haired beauty and striking talent impresses all.
While battling to secure financing for bringing to the stage the most fateful dance performance of her life, she encounters Henri Mellington, heir to an international banking fortune. That soon launches a dire and gripping chain of complications.
Despite her struggle to avoid it, Anya meets someone else, Salvatore ‘Sonny Boy’ Aiello. Though not as privileged as the others pursuing her, he’s more notorious, original and unforgettable. Mellington – stung and smarting in his rejection – turns in revenge to his family’s vast political connections and a march toward disaster is set in motion.
Sonny Boy, always intriguing, often funny and potentially lethal, began his rise among the borgatas, restless gangs of tough, young Italians marauding the back streets of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, leading ultimately to prominence luxury and power in the demimonde of lower Manhattan. Though Sonny’s life is a colorful one filled with mordant humor and teasing playfulness, he is described most of all as having ”…the hardness of someone tested brilliantly in raging flames–unyielding, enhanced, ineffably rare.”
Anya, though mortified, is totally enraptured unable to resist it and now their love races on sometimes touching, sometimes perilous, always exciting. This surging tension keeps rising relentlessly through the whole book.
In the end, though, the power and privilege of the Mellingtons prevails and our “star-crossed lovers” taste in pity and sorrow the full bitter consequences.
2. And she’s flourishing here in Manhattan, making her life often radiant far beyond what money alone can bring. Each day for her isn’t merely a day but a sojourn into something more earnest, more splendid in her constant search for ways to vanquish the mundane.
3. And Anya remains trapped hardly stirring in her bed, caught in the razor-sharp ironies of her life and in the twilight, perhaps, of the growing confusion threatening the whole human race.