This is a story from the In the Ravine and Other Stories collection.
Anton Chekhov, one of the finest masters of what is acknowledged as a difficult genre. There is the richly comic "Oh! The Public" about a hassled ticket inspector, a wry look at morals and manners in "The Chorus Girl", and the melancholic tale of a cab driver in "Misery".
Perhaps the finest of all is the novella "In The Ravine", a minutely observed look at life in a village through the eyes of one family. All the characters come to life with their foibles, their strengths, and their hopes. Kenneth Branagh uses his natural talent for characterisation to bring this village to life.
The other short stories in this collection are: "The Trousseau", "A Story Without a Title", "Children", "Fat and Thin", "The Beggar", "Hush!", "The Orator", and "An Actor's End".
A man is sent to a beautiful cottage on business to deliver a message from the Colonel. There he meets the Colonel's wife and their daughter Manetchka, who are sewing a wedding outfit for the young girl, though she swears she will never marry. He visits twice more in the ensuing years; each time, a tragedy has occurred, yet the sewing persists. Anton Chekhov masterfully uses the accumulation of details to push the narrative forward, revealing a profound statement about loneliness and loss. Kenneth Branaugh gives a terrific performance full of nuance and care that slowly crafts a deep sorrow.
"If you want an outstanding reading, in which the narrator's voice brilliantly conveys the speaker's class and the intricate relationships between characters during conversations, you can do no better than to listen to Kenneth Branagh. This great actor mesmerizes as he gasps, chuckles, stutters, and declaims. A must listen." (AudioFile)
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