Part One: Chapters I through III
* 18-year-old Kira Argounova and her family arrive at Petrograd in 1922 following the Communist Revolution.
* Kira and her family stay with her uncle Vasili, who also refuses to join in the revolution.
* Kira wants to study engineering. Her cousin Victor is also studying engineering.
* Kira's family does not approve of her desire to study engineering.
* Kira describes herself as "worshipping" joy.
Part One: Chapters IV through VII
* Kira and her family move into their own apartment.
* Victor shows romantic interest in Kira, but she turns him down.
* Kira meets a man in the park. His name is Leo, and they agree to meet a month later.
* Kira attends a Communist student demonstration where she meets a man named Andrei. They go to the opera together.
* Kira's father closes his store and begins making soap.
Part One: Chapters VIII through XI
* A man named...
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