Fiction at its finest

Reading Turgenev (from Two Lives)

William Trevor


Young, ingenuous Mary Louise Dallon, fearful of being trapped in her parents’ cramped farmhouse, cannot resist the limited attractions of the nearby small town, and marries into it only to discover a despair and desolation that her sheltered girlhood had not exposed her to. When she is rescued, it is not by a stalwart lover but by a bespectacled boy in poor health who reads her Turgenev in a deserted country churchyard.