There is a new movie of this novella coming out sometime soon. It should be interesting. This is a relatively obscure Russian writer (at least outside of knowing circles) and I have had this book for awhile before I sat down to read this. Something is to be said about sitting down to read short stories that generally cap out at 50-100 pages. So picking up one of his novellas make more sense.
As with a lot of stories, a young woman is married off to an older widower and it turns out that when your husband is 30 years your senior, you might not find him the most interesting and compelling. So you might just turn you eye to rakish rogue who is tending your horses. Turns out he’s a turd.
That’s totally fine! Ignore your handmaiden! Don’t worry about his terrible reputation! As soon as your husband is out of the area go for it. What could possibly go wrong?
Turns out, everything.
If it sounds like I am being, I promise I am not as harsh as the characters in this novella. I am not saying I have a ton of sympathy for how someone who maybe totally murders a couple of people and tries to put her shitty mister in control of the estate, but I somehow am. Go figure.
The writing is interesting. It’s very 19th century Russian. It’s not funny….not in this one yet, but it’s definitely not a boring story. I will definitely read more of Leskov.
Here’s some samples:
“Katerina Lvovna was not born a beauty, but she was a woman of very pleasing appearance. She was only twenty-three years old; not tall, but shapely, with a neck as if carved from marble, rounded shoulders, firm bosom, a fine straight nose, lively black eyes, a high and white brow, and very black, almost blue-black hair. “