This is a very complex tale. Many lives are interwoven through love, marriage, and infidelity. Thus resulting in the alteration of love to jealousy, hate, revenge and ultimately suicide. The characters are well explained, deep of character and personality.
A sad tale but a beautiful tale as it is so eloquently written.
I've been on a kick to read classics I missed in school, and this one does not disappoint. Sometimes tough given the translation and lack of understanding of upper-class Russian customs of the era, it still remains a fantastic study of human nature and basic human needs. Well worth the long time to read.
A magnificent drama of vengeance, infidelity, and retribution, Anna Karenina portrays the moving story of people whose emotions conflict with the dominant social mores of their time. Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky. When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband (and Russian high society) would condone, she is doomed. Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds. In doubt about the meaning of life, haunted by thoughts of suicide, Levins struggles echo Tolstoys own spiritual crisis. But Annas inner turmoil mirrors the emotional imprisonment and mental disintegration of a woman who dares to transgress the strictures of a patriarchal world. In Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy brought to perfection the novel of social realism and created a masterpiece that bared the Russian soul.
This book was depressing to me and I had the same feeling with it as when I read The Awakening. Infidelity does not equal happiness. I did not really feel that any of the characters were endearing and I wanted one of them to be happy. I have never understood how a mother can leave her children as Anna did. I do not think it would be possible for me.