Something made me decide to read Anna Karenina about six months ago. I think it was just that gnawing feeling that I hadn’t read one of the classics.
I really got into it — and looked forward to reading it each day on my train commute. Then, I got sidetracked by several other books that came up on my holds at the library. (I still haven’t mastered the art of reading multiple books at one time.)
This week I returned to Anna Karenina. And, a sign of a good book, I was able to recall the characters and issues without any trouble. Even the Russian names were still in my memory bank.
This is the first book by Tolstoy that I’ve read and I see why some claim that this is the greatest novel ever written. What amazes me is how the story transcends time — originally written between 1873 to 1877 — it’s still relevant and real in 2009. He even understands the plight of mothers like myself who think every thing through multiple times before making a decision:
…not knowing that Darya had already thought it all over twenty times and, to the detriment of sincerity, had found it necessary to teach her children in this way.
It’s good to know that even 132 years ago, other parents (even fictional parents) were also over-thinking things!