I Am Anna Arkadeyevna

I finished Anna Karenina last night.  *Deep breath.*  And I was astounded by many things.  (You can check recommended reading for my full review.)  But the one which has me quite disconcerted is this:  I am Anna Arkadeyevna. 

Yes, really.

Our similarities are so striking, it's a little scary.  What do we know about Anna?

  • She is unbelievably gorgeous.
  • Men fall in love with her after one meeting.

Check.  check.

  • She lives in Russia.
  • She committed adultery and feels absolutely no remorse.

Okay, maybe we're not exactly alike.  (Thank heavens.)

But here's the rub...her CIM and my CIM have the exact same script!  I kept thinking, "She's crazy.  She's crazy.  She's just got to stop thinking!"  As I was telling David all about her and how she ends up in the way she does, he was grinning from ear to ear.  Because he knows as well as I do, that I'm as crazy as she is.

"She did not want strife, she blamed him for wanting to quarrel, but unconsciously put herself into an attitude of antagonism."

"She was glad of this appeal for tenderness.  But some strange force of evil would not let her give herself up to her feelings, as though the rules of warfare would not permit her to surrender."

"For an instant she had a clear vision of what she was doing, and was horrified at how she had fallen away from her resolution.  But even though she knew it was her own ruin, she could not restrain herself, could not keep herself from proving to him that he was wrong, could not give way to him."

"She felt like a fight."  (This line alone!)

"And remembering all the cruel words he had said, Anna supplied, too, the words he had unmistakably wished to say and could have said to her, and she grew more and more exasperated....All the most cruel words that a brutal man could say, he said to her in her imagination, and she could not forgive him for them, as though he had actually said them."  (Ha!  Seriously, how did Tolstoy know?)

Some of you, those who don't know me well, are by now shocked and horrified.  Those of you that know me well are simply nodding your heads, empathetically wondering how David has managed to hold me together all these years.  Occasionally I read a book that changes my behavior.  Angle of Repose was like that for me.  I hope Anna Karenina will be the same way.  That I will remember Anna when my resolution to embrace wavers.   Stop thinking, be quiet, and embrace.