The second in the cycle of autobiographical novels under the heading "A la recherche du temps perdu" (Remembrance of things past). [This volume is] Proust's spectacular dissection of male and female adolescence, charged with the narrator's memories of Paris and the Normandy seaside. At the heart of the story lie his relationships with his grandmother and with the Swann family ... Here, Proust introduces some of his greatest comic inventions, from the magnificently dull M. de Norpois to the enchanting Robert de Saint-Loup. It is memorable as well for the first appearance of the two figures who for better or worse are to dominate the narrator's life -- the Baron de Charles and the mysterious Albertine.