"The sensual, rebellious Anna renounces a respectable yet stifling marriage for an affair that offers passion even as it ensnares her for destruction. Her story contrasts with that of Levin, a young, self- doubting agnostic who takes a different path to fulfillment."
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel set in 1870's Russia. It follows the every day lives of Russian aristocrats, and centers around the title character, Anna, who most of the other characters are connected to in some fashion.
Anna is a woman ahead of her time, and by following her own path is faced with a life of pain and struggles. The primary male character, Konstantin Levin, is a socially awkward man who longs for a conventional life as he struggles with questions regarding the faith in which he was raised to believe. Other central characters are Count Vronsky, Anna's brother Oblansky and his wife Dolly, and a young princess named Kitty.
I feel that one of the main themes throughout the book is the contrast between a man's life and a woman's life in 1870's Russia. I believe it is clear that in Tolstoy's mind, a woman's happiness depended greatly on the kind of husband she was lucky enough to marry. Anna Karenina is a book about ordinary things in people's lives. It is about love, hate, misery, and joy.
It is not a light read, but it's well worth the effort it will require. Those who like to read historical fiction will especially love the little details that give us a snapshot of what life what like then.
According to www.imdb.com there is an Anna Karenina movie in the works starring Keira Knightley as Anna. I'll definitely be looking forward to this one.
I'd like to thank my Mom for the use of her computer. Mine should be up and running soon! I should finish A Murder on the Orient Express tonight, so be watching for the next "Ten Books I Never Thought I'd Read".