Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 5: 1800
Doctor Zhivago tells the story of a man trying to survive and feel love in the difficult conditions of the twentieth century Russia. The man is Yury Zhivago. Yury's mother dies when he is still a young boy, and his uncle Kolya looks after him. Yury studies medicine at the university in Moscow, and he meets Tonya there. They marry and have a son, Sasha.
Yury becomes a medical officer in the army and he meets a woman, Lara. Lara is married to Pasha, a young soldier who is missing, and she has come west to find him. She has a daughter, Katya, whom she has left in Yuryatin, her birthplace in the Urals.
Yury likes Lara, but he returns to his wife and son in Moscow. Yury's family has to struggle to find food and firewood. They decide to move east to Varyniko. The journey is long and difficult, but when they arrive they find plenty of food and wood. Yury goes to the nearest city, Yuryatin, to use the library. There, he sees Lara once more. They begin to meet secretly. However, Yury decides to end their relationship and tell all to his wife, but he is captured by the partisan army, because he is a doctor.
Yury has to to stay with the army until the end of the war between the Tsarist Whites and the Communist Reds. When he is set free, he returns to Yuryatin to find Lara. They stay several months together, and then they go to Varykino to hide. Lara's former husband, Pasha, became a leader in the Urals but is now wanted. Komarovsky returns and urges them to go east with him to avoid being killed. Yury's family has been exiled to Paris, and he is promised the opportunity to join them. Yury tricks Lara into taking her daughter and going with Komarovsky, while he stays in Varykino.
Yury goes back to Moscow and finds work. He begins living with Marina, the daughter of a family friend. He and Marina have two children. Yury's old friends Misha and Nicky encourage him to resolve his divided loyalties toward Tonya and Marina. He finds a new job but on the way to his first day at work he dies of a heart attack. Lara comes to the funeral and asks Yury's half-brother, a lawyer, if there is any way to track the location of a child given away to strangers. She stays for several days and then disappears, likely dying in a concentration camp. Years later, Misha and Nicky are fighting in World War II and encounter a laundry-girl, Tanya, who tells them her life story. They determine that she is the daughter of Lara and Yury.
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