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The Last Summer

by Ricarda Huch

This short novel, set in early 20th century Russia, is told in the letters between family members. The letters are lighthearted and elegantly written. There is however a hidden danger lurking in the midst of this family. An unusual and atmospheric novel first published in 1910 in Germany and now published in Britain. I found the style of the letters one of the most enjoyable parts of the book - definitely one of the best epistolary novels.

Extract

Dear Konstantin,
I might have predicted you'd react like this, but I hope you will have no cause to in the future. You make it sound as if I've come here to undertake a psychological study. You think I am developing a keen sense of family life. You say I might just as well be visiting my aunt in Odessa and much more besides. What do you want? Did you expect me to pounce on my victim like a hungry cannibal, a hate filled love rival or a cheated husband?
Translated by Jamie Bulloch

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