Most of the way through this book I mildly enjoyed it, although I was not strongly drawn in. The stories of various family members of the sprawling Sinolpy family are told in separate chapters, almost like separate vignettes or short stories. There is good detail and I felt that I could picture the lives of these people in Russia, so different from my own. However, I really did not like the ending of the book. As the book progressed, it became more and more focused on one character and her involvement in a love triangle. The book seemed to switch from a general depiction of these people’s lives to an exclusive focus on one woman’s love madness. I did not like the way the characters in the love triangle behaved, as it seemed quite thoughtless and even irrational. Perhaps this was the intent of the author – to convey the sense of these people completely swept up in their passions and emotions, but to me it felt overdone and so completely different from my own experience of life that I could not relate to it at all. It was not the direction I expected the book to go and overall I can’t say that I really liked the book.