Snegoruchkka, the classic Russian ballet, serves as a metaphor for Giselle (another ballet metaphor in itself), a ballerina at an elite dance institute/high school in NYC who struggles to break free of her routine. It is a comfort for her to live in a world where her mother is evil, her late father was a saint, and her toys sit undisturbed on the shelf. But a new boyfriend and a desire to expand herself pushes Giselle into a new world with the unearthing of deeply buried secrets.
With a storyline that juts out in all directions and clunky dialogue, Conway is a mixed bag. The idea of the story is excellent but underrealized. For a story about ballet, for example, one really wanted to read more about the dancing itself. But there is promise here that a future novel might shake out the leaden parts and reveal a real talent.