Ian Sutherland

Exiled ballerina Lena Sergeyevna lies in hospital in New York, dying of cancer. Desperate to reconcile with her estranged daughter, she begins to reveal the truth about her flight from the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster where her husband Yuri, a nuclear physicist, disappeared while performing top-secret research. We discover that Lena’s former life involved deep compromises for which she has paid a heavy price in shame and self-loathing. What happened to Yuri, was he somehow involved in the ‘accident’, and what made Lena leave the USSR and take up exotic dancing in the US? Set in a geopolitical hotspot, Ukraine, this intelligent memoir–thriller explores the struggle for self-expression, the triumph of truth over deception, and the impact on the human psyche of personal and global catastrophe.