I was instantly and totally smitten with Anna Karenina when I first started to read the novel in my mid-teens. Tolstoy’s book set in the 1870s enveloped me in a whole new world, introducing themes of hypocrisy, jealousy, faith, fidelity, family, marriage, society, progress, justice, desire and passion, and the agrarian connection to land in contrast to the lifestyles of the city. I started to see society with new eyes. Although I yearned to feel that romantic love deliciously illustrated in the book, here also were injustices that I could rebel about or help to correct in the life that lay endlessly ahead of me.
It’s fairly certain that on a global scale, most young women feel similar emotions during their teenage years.
While there are so many more freedoms today, many young (and older) women feel just as restricted and hedged in by family and societal expectations, inequity, ignorance and the accompanying feelings of limitation and hopelessness Continue reading