Leo Tolstoy’s classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.
In their world frivolous liaisons are commonplace, but Anna and Vronsky’s consuming passion makes them a target for scorn and leads to Anna’s increasing isolation. The heartbreaking trajectory of their relationship contrasts sharply with the colorful swirl of friends and family members who surround them, especially the newlyweds Kitty and Levin, who forge a touching bond as they struggle to make a life together. “Anna Karenina” is a masterpiece not only because of the unforgettable woman at its core and the stark drama of her fate, but also because it explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
A while back I decided I wanted to read more of the classics so I started with Jane Austen. I had always avoided them for some reason, but absolutely fell in love with her books. I then moved on to read “Anna Karenina”. This was a book I could not put down. I was reading non-stop and sneaking in just half a chapter here and there. Let me tell you, this was not the lightest book to try to sneak into a purse because you know your friends will be a few minutes late to dinner…
I had a strong love/hate relationship with Anna, while at the same time slowly came to love some of the secondary characters. Like an epic fantasy series, “Anna Karenina” takes the time to develop all of the characters and somehow managing to bring it all together in the end. I think some of the political commentary went over my head, but that’s ok – I will certainly be re-reading this one!
P.S. My version had an epilogue that absolutely made it for me!
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? Fans of the classics. If you want to get into them, don’t start this until you have ensured you like the style: ex. read Austen first!