Just over half way through and the morale of the story so far seems to be about the dangers of judging someone not only by appearances but also by reputation.
Vera who becomes something of an obsession for the narrator is seen as someone who has wasted her life waiting in a little village for her childhood sweetheart to come home from the war. The narrator starts weaving scenarios around her that he believes happened and apart from clearly a growing love/lust for the woman there is strong sympathy mixed in with frustration she has spent thirty years waiting.
But when he finally sits down to talk to her it emerges that she studied linguistics in Leningrad for six years and has lived much more of a life than he ever imagined. Ironically you feel that her revelation makes it harder for him to maintain his sympathetic love and he will be forced to change his opinion and attitude towards her.