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On the Eve
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1001 book reviews > On the Eve by Ivan Turgenev

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Diane | 1918 comments Rating: 4 Stars
Read: January 2017

After being so enamored by Torrents of Spring, I decided to read another by Turgenev. Although this was very good, I did not love it in the way I loved some of his other books. I did, however, like it very much. I love Turgenev's writing style and the way that he tells a love story.

The central character is a kind-hearted aristocratic young Russian woman who is being wooed by several suitors. She falls for and marries a poor Montenegrin/Bulgarian student and revolutionary. Their love story takes place on the eve of the Crimean War. Perhaps a bit darker and bleaker than many of his other books, but a great story all the same.

Book Wormy | 1818 comments Mod
On the Eve by Ivan Turgenev
3 Stars

This is probably the most accessible work of Russian literature I have read in a long time, the plot is fast paced and the characters are relatable and for a while it appears to escape the doom and gloom that infects most other Russian works I have read. Unfortunately that escape is only a brief reprieve before the typical doom and gloom rush back in.

In this book Elena the daughter of a gambling father and a rich mother falls in love with a humble Bulgarian. In typical girl in love fashion Elena decides to abandon her family and other suitors as well as her native Russia to join her lover in his home of Bulgaria. All sounds good? Not really Bulgaria is engaged in a war with the Turks and her lover's health is not the best. Still Elena knows better than anyone what to do with her life.

I liked the secondary characters in this story, the rejected Russian lovers who are friends with each other and find their own methods of consolation, the mother who knows how to control the father for the benefit of their daughter and the hypocritical father who knows how to get what he wants.

I also liked Elena she is headstrong, determined, a fighter and she never quits and never asks her family for help.

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