William Gerhardie's first comic novel tells the story of a young Englishman who returns to St Petersburg where he was raised and falls in love with the daughter of a highly eccentric and dysfunctional family - a relationship which is played out with the armies of the Russian Revolution marching outside the parlour window.
Part British romantic comedy, part Russian social realism, with Gerhardie's trademark large cast of wonderfully realised and highly memorable characters, this funny and poignant novel is the tale of persistance in love and hope in the face of what should be insurmountably difficult circumstances.
William Gerhardie (1895-1977) was born in St Petersburg. Leaving Russia in the wake of the 1917 revolution, Gerhardie travelled to Siberia with the British Military Mission. His first novel Futility was published in 1922.