One of Tolstoy's greatest books, Resurrection traces the conflict of pride and affection between Katusha, a prostitute charged with murder, and her first lover, Nekhludov, who serves on the jury at her trial. Prince Nekhludov recognizes her as the innocent young girl he once loved, se-duced, and abandoned. Through his attempts to alter the course of her fate, Nekhludov discovers the hypocrisy of his own atone-ment--and begins the journey to personal resur-rection.
The setting of Resurrection is the Russian un-derworld. Tolstoy turns a critical eye on the law, the penal system, and especially the Church. With its theme of fallen man and a non-Christian process of regeneration, the novel presents a panorama of Russian life at the end of the nineteenth century-- shot through with spiritual intensity and material dep-rivation.