An exploration of the eternal human struggle between the human individual and the state offers the first installment of Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. The novel is a harsh look at communism in the post-Red revolution of Russia, following three people: Kira, a young, idealistic, woman who bourgeois family was left poverty-stricken following the revolt; Leo, an indifferent young man haunted by the Communists due his late father's war glory; and Andrei, a Communist questioning his own beliefs in the system he has risen up in so quickly. Despite the fact that this novel is set in a far-away time and place to most of its readers, it is a book which I felt an extremely strong connection with. Everybody knows a Leo: flippant, handsome, could get any girl he wants -- but he has serious character flaws, and tends to be abusive of Kira's love for him. And Kira, the novel's protagonist, is very similar to any youth of today: she does not understand the ideals of the Communist party, but she does know what she believes and is wholeheartedly committed to fulfilling the promise she had at birth.
Another great book by Ayn Rand. One that makes you think.