Netochka Nezanova - "Nameless Nobody" - recounts her formative years in vivid, anguished detail. After her father's death, her mother marries a failed musician, who believes himself to be a neglected genius. On the edge of insanity, he exploits the child, ruins the family and abandons Netochka Nezvanova when her mother dies. Though rescued by a wealthy family, the abuse continues in a more subtle form, condemning Netochka to remain for ever an outsider, a lonely spectator of a glittering society. Although Netochka Nezvanova was never completed, the themes and issues which dominate the later novels are all here: the extreme suffering of the individual, the spiritual plight of the outcast, the inspiration of madness and the atonement of sin.