In my quest to read more classic literature, I decided to check out a classic Russian author whom I had never read before: Ivan Turgenev in his book Fathers and Sons. This was also the first time I was listening to an audiobook in a non-English language, as I wanted to "read" the original text.
I remember how depressing and dark Crime and Punishment was, and this book was a lot less dark and a lot more emotionally powerful, in my opinion. The subject matter -- family, philosophy, love -- was more commonplace, and yet (or because of that) the emotional content was extremely strong.
The book explored many themes, such as the relationships between generations, between social classes, respect for principles vs. science, the value of pride, and the power of love (from men to women and also from parents to children). Even though the main character really wanted to be one-sided and proud, he turned out to be more complex, subtle, and multifaceted than even he would have wanted, and that change was brought about by his relationships with his friends and elders.
The ending was sad and hopeful. I felt my throat knot up as I said good bye to the main character and realized how sad and how sweet life can be, all at the same time.
Below are some of the main themes and quotes I took away from the book: