By Leo Tolstoy
An Apple Books Classic edition.
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Thus begins what many consider the world’s greatest novel. Leo Tolstoy originally published this sweeping saga in serial form beginning in 1875, portraying a vast swath of Russian life, from the fields worked by starving peasant farmers to the sitting rooms (and bedrooms) of privileged aristocrats.
Despite its epic nature, Anna Karenina is an intricate, intimate study of one woman’s downward spiral into tragedy. As Anna’s husband becomes increasingly absorbed in philosophical and political introspection, Tolstoy’s heroine grows weary of her life as a mother and wealthy man’s wife. Increasingly unsettled by the stark class differences she observes, Anna finds passion again in a forbidden affair with Count Vronsky. But can she overcome her obsessive concern with societal norms to find a measure of happiness?
Passion. Betrayal. Love. Revenge. Tolstoy’s classic has it all.