Around 175 pages
I read this in a couple hours this morning as a means of procrastination from my real work. I am still procrastinating by writing this review. I suppose there are worse ways of wasting your time than reading and discussing Russian literature. That might be the most pretentious thing I have ever said.
A Russian landowner named Dmitri Sanin falls in love with Gemma after saving her brother from a fainting fit. Apparently, he did this by brushing the boy's clothes? Who knew dry cleaning could save lives? Anyway, Gemma is already betrothed to a boring German shopkeeper. Gemma might also have a rival for his affections in Maria Nikolaevna Polozov. I personally feel like Gemma should win, because her name confuses me less.
I was certain from the very beginning that I knew exactly how the story was going to go, but I will admit, Turgenev threw me for a loop with the introduction of Maria's character. I really wish Turgenev had elaborated more on her character; she seemed like she belonged in Dangerous Liaisons. This is definitely my favorite of the author's works so far; I just wish he had gone into more detail. Did I seriously just wish that a Russian novel was longer? Okay, that might be the most pretentious thing I have ever said.
Ivan Turgenev claimed this novel was autobiographical.
UP NEXT: Erewhon by Samuel Butler. Never heard of it. I'm worried.