I attempted to read Effi Briest in Norwegian in 2015, and before putting it down to read Dracula, wrote about foreshadowing and "love" in 3 languages.
Now I pick it up again, this time in English, and am enjoying it very much.
1/ In the 1st chapter, Theodor Fontane lays out the most important stuff: Effi Briest (her youth, childlikeness, vivacity), Geert von Innstetten (a man who once courted her mother), the Briests, and foreshadowing for the tragedy later in the story.
2/ Geert's "enthusiasm for art": what does that make Geert sound like? Cecil Vyse. Does having an enthusiasm for art mean being deficient in human feelings?
3/ Maybe I only say that to feel better about my own ignorance about art.
4/ Childlike, vivacious... Look at this quote by Frau von Briest:
"For soft and accommodating as she is, there's something reckless in her that will risk anything."That I like.
5/ Now and then Effi reminds me of Natasha. Tolstoy's Natasha.
6/ I like Effi. Who doesn't? She's so likeable.
7/ Effi Briest is sometimes dreamy, and dislikes boredom. Like Emma Bovary. But compare how Fontane writes about her to how Flaubert depicts Emma.