“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”—Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
It was a difficult journey—all 817 pages. While I was interested in the parallel stories going on in this novel with both Anna and Levin, I frequently found myself bogged down by the philosophical and intellectual discussions. Tolstoy spends inordinate amounts of time (and obviously enjoys) discussing farming and agricultural methods of the day (late 1800’s), as well as hunting, politics, women’s rights, religion and on, and on and on. Hence the lengthy prose.
On the other hand, he is adept at writing about the emotional conflicts of his characters. I found it helpful afterwards to review online sites for some insight into the author as well as the content. But the best part: I had determined one day to read it and now I can say it is accomplished! Done!