This morning I was up quite early and full of delicious quiet I sipped this Russian play from 1904 in between coffee and morning hot tub soaks, also feeding dogs and tidying up. The story is a great example of the human condition- a family has owned a cherry orchard for generations and yet the mortgage is unpaid and the house is nearly uninhabitable. Everyone is aging. At the end of the play, one of the elderly servants is plum forgotten. The orchard is auctioned off and a neighbor buys it who was raised of peasant parents but has now has wealth — his parents were slaves on the orchard, so his purchase is telling of his achieved status.
At the end when they are leaving Anya asks the new owner if they could stop chopping down the orchard until her mother left. This play uses indirect action- meaning that there are invisible scenes in the play that the characters refer to. It says in this book that Chekhov invented indirect action and this is the first time it is used.
I love finding a lonely book on my shelf and giving her a good look.