One of the greatest things about most Russian literature is the way it is set against a background of such turbulent change. The unknown caused by revolution and the potential collapse in order manages to trickle down even to the smallest communities.
So it is here with a village waiting to see which way the wind blows around the time of the 1905 revolution. Told through the story of two brothers, one of which has become a land owner and the other who dreams of becoming a poet, Bunin weaves a story of a world that is in flux.
The peasants are burning down the large estates and the order laid down over decades by the Tsar is coming under threat.
As the different characters emerge it becomes clear that the main challenge is to try to use the crisis for personal advantage.
A review will follow soon...