Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, is written as if it were a memoir written by the protagonist, Ivan, in the later years of his life. Ivan tells of his love affair with Ada, whom he believes at first to be his cousin, but later learns is really his sister. Along with being a love story, the novel reflects on the nature of time and identity. The actions of the book start in 1863 and wrap up in 1967, when Ivan is dying of cancer in his old age.
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