A story of love, political intrigue and believe it or not ballet, this wonderfully original novel tells the story of a Russian dance troupe stranded in Puerto Rico in 1917, during the country's tumultuous independence movement. Narrator Masha is the loyal servant and faithful friend of Madame, the group's prima ballerina. When Madame falls for Diamantino Marquez, a young revolutionary half her age who uses her to help his political causes, Masha tries to steer her clear of the foolish attachment. Meanwhile, she loses her own heart to a black Puerto Rican shoemaker and to the country she will soon call home. Rich with Puerto Rican history and culture, this engaging story, inspired by Anna Pavlova's tours of Latin America, is sure to solidify the reputation of FerrÅ½, a National Book Award nominee. A reading group guide is available at www.penguinputnam.com.