By Ivan Turgenev
I enjoyed this story: it was well written and melancholy. Despite being published in 1858 it felt more modern than Anna Karenina which I read immediately before. Varvara Petrovna can be almost seen as a prototype for Anna and it would be interesting to find out if Tolstoy was influenced by this character. The novel is supposedly Turgenev’s least controversial and his most read up until the end of the nineteenth century. There is nothing too complex here; simply a good story which has a fair dose of melancholy. Things are left unsaid which I like – it works nicely with the analysis of ‘potential’ as a theme. Worth reading if you have read Turgenev previously, but you may be better reading one of his major works like ‘All is the Eve’ or ‘Fathers and Sons’ if you haven’t encountered him before.