The title of this book gives a clue to its structure. Like real memory, it is shaped by sharply-focused bits and pieces — little stories about this English governess or that, his demented grandfather. What emerges is a picture of pre-Bolshevik Russian landed gentry childhood. That’s as far as I’ve gotten (I’m up to Chapter 5). It’s witty and evocative and a fascinating portrait of a bygone world. As a reader, I am laughing and retelling stories and looking things up and even solving a puzzle that the author offers to the reader (try it – it’s deceptively easy).