The Torrents of Spring

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By Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

Returning to Russia from a tour in Italy, twenty-three-year-old Dimitry Sanin breaks his journey in Frankfurt, where he encounters the beautiful Gemma Roselli, who works in her parents' patisserie, and falls deeply and deliriously in love for the first time. Convinced that nothing can come in the way of everlasting happiness with his fiancee, Dimitry impetuously decides to begin a new life and sell his Russian estates. But when he meets the potential buyer, the intriguing Madame Polozov, his youthful vulnerability makes him prey for a darker, destructive infatuation.

A novel of haunting beauty, "Spring Torrents" (1870-1) is a fascinating, partly autobiographical account of one of Turgenev's favourite themes - a man's inability to love without losing his innocence and becoming enslaved to obsessive passions.