Inspired by a visit to Waterstones and Leo Toltsoy’s opening line of Anna Karenina
Yesterday I spent two hours in Waterstones selecting my next read. I have just finished Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s Memories of my Melancholy Whores, so there were some stipulations on my next read; it wasn’t to be set in Latin America or the Caribbean, nor could it utilise magical realism, had to be written by a woman – as I cannot tell you the last book I read written by a female – and must be just released or, at the least, contemporary.
With all that in mind, I found myself choosing between William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and Leo Toltsoy’s Anna Karenina. Vanity Fair seemed most appropriate as it explores many of the themes the very novel I am still attempting to write explores. However, I read the opening line of Anna Karenina and was moved instantly.
‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ Anna Karenina, Leo Toltsoy