I’ve had this novel on my shelves for years. As with a few of my books, it was actually originally my Mum’s from when she did her Literature degree back in the early 1970s. I did not know much about the novel or the author when I picked it off the shelf, but I fancied going for an older text having just read a few modern novels and so gave this a try.

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Yevgeny Vasil’evich Bazarov and his friend / protégé Arkady Nikolaevich Kirsanov are the ‘sons’ of the title, both young nihilists, who are set on rallying against the customs and traditions of the older generations (represented by their actual fathers and others in the novel). The young men speak out against emotions and what they see as sentimentality, yet both end up falling in love before long, whereupon they have to reassess their ideas about human relationships, society and life in general…