As a whole I like it a lot. It's the kind of liking that is not a happy fluffy feeling but intense concentrating type. I was being haunted during reading & bitterly regret the times I couldn't spend reading. Unfortunately 4/5 part to the end I was just too tired by the effort & had to resort to skimming some part.So, Dorris Lessing wrote on her introduction that she used to receive letters about this book describing it exclusively as either about politic, war of sexes or human illness. She found it interesting that each will only see one of the theme and none other, eventhough they all read the same book. I can see all these themes, but to be honest, the part that attract me most is the experience of being a "free woman". Not necessarily about the sex war, though it was horrible.. horrible.. horrible... Anna met and have relationship with the most horrible men one after another, it was so scary and enough to make you loose any faith for healthy relationship with men. The thing is, you can be the most intellectual, sane, succesful woman yet once you fall in "love", that's it. I can relate to this, who hasn't done some stupid thing for man? So it also serves as a pre-cautionary tale for me. And the "free" woman thing? Heck, it's not a woman free of living her life as she see fits, but a woman that men free to take advantage of, to grab, to conquer, without any consequences. A woman as a freebies... This book made me feel so lucky that I've never experienced such horrible relationship with men.It's a heavy book, I don't know enough about communism so I know that I missed a lot of thing. It's fine though. Perhaps I'll read it again and gain more in the future. Reading it now as I am, I can still follow the whole turmoil, the disillusionism that they have about communistic idea. How the ideal thought they have, the bright new world they were dreaming about receeded with each passing atrocity. If anything can make me more interested in learning more about communism, this book is it. Another interesting theme, about relationship between parents & child. It showed the case where parents actually need their child more than the child their parent. For Anna, her child is the anchor that keeps her steady in her life. Despite her constant longing for having a man to love, to be in a marriage, her child is actually the one thing that keep her living & sane. One of her boyfriend actually realized this (semi-conciously) and resent the fact. And her encounter with insanity only happen after she was separated from her child who went to boarding school. Part of the reason she could pull herself away from the bottom was also by using her child as a leverage. Writing this review I know I would've given it a higher rating, if not for the ending. Starting when Anna met Saul and went down the spiral of madness, the story became beyond scary & almost physically painful. And then the ending, that I shamefully not understand at all... It was a marvelous experience still, to be immersed in her writing & seeped in thought about it these few days. Would it be bad, though, to say that one of the best part for me is the introduction? This quote will be one to be heeded for all time. So apt as this is how I found this book."There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag-and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty-and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you."