"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Leo Tolstoy
though adultery is a major theme in Leo Tolstoy's novel, i look at the whole story as more of a social commentary than a morality play.
through its characters, i was able to take a glimpse into the lives of the nobility and the peasants in Russia during the late 19th century. social, political and economic issues were predominant throughout the book. religion is also discussed but it is presented more as a personal quest rather than as a collective undertaking.
with regard to extramarital affairs, it is taboo and a stigma for women to indulge in them. even today, a woman who takes on a lover regardless of her partner's status is frowned upon. men, on the other hand, appear to be exempt from this stigma and their having liaisons do not seem to affect their standing and regard in society.
love, as i mentioned in my first read along post , takes on many forms and manifestations in the story. for Anna Karenina, love is an ideal. to her, it is easily accessible yet it remains elusive at the same time. later, her notion of what love is escalates into obsession and it becomes the catalyst of her undoing in the end.
despite some dull moments, what makes the whole novel interesting for me is not the story itself but the way Leo Tolstoy presented his ideas and put them all together to make a coherent one.
overall, reading this novel was quite a rewarding experience and it was not as daunting as i thought it would be. i am really gratified i finally got the chance to read it.
*Anna Karenina by Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy is available in print, digital and audio formats. popular ebook formats are in the public domain and are free to download at Project Gutenberg, Manybooks.net, Amazon and Kobo.
my personal rating is: