Anna Karenina

Anna is beautiful, intelligent and goes after what she wants. She pays dearly, because even though a man having an affair is tolerated by the nobility of Russia in the late 1800 and early 1900s, a woman doing the same, is despised.

Anna is married to an older man, the pragmatic, cold Karenin, when she meets her lover, Vronsky, the suitor of her sister-in-law, Dolly’s sister.

This book is a brilliant portrayal of the complex relationships between men and women, the push and pull, their power struggle; and how isolation and shunning can warp the personality.

Of interest to me was the nepotism of old Russia, especially when compared with the current situation in South Africa which is exactly the same, jobs for pals, etc.

My initial impression was that it was a beautiful novel. On second reading I noticed that Tolstoy incorporates discussion on pertinent issues of his time, for example, the feudal system, especially in the character of Levin.

This is something that I can relate to and explore in my own writing.