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old AnnaI was told by someone who recently read Who Is to Blame, “Being a woman in peasant Russia – Ugh!”

I couldn’t agree more. In order to be a female Russian peasant who’s content with her life, you’d have to:
- adore your in-laws since you share a one-room hut with all 12 of them
- not take offense at wife-beating, a time-honored tradition
- not mind that your voice is unheard at home or in your village
- find it romantic to share your bed-of-straw with a guy who works in the fields all day and bathes every 2 weeks during the summer and monthly (at best) during the winter
- delight in continuously being either pregnant or nursing
- relish cooking. And pickling. And baking bread. And more bread. And slaughtering and plucking a chicken.
- appreciate that an evening working the spinning wheel provides a relaxing way to end the day
- be an early riser so you can stoke the stove, shovel snow for a path to the barn, milk the cow, gather the eggs,breastfeed your infant, and get the breakfast kasha bubbling before you start your workday.

Oh, and one last thing - - rise above feelings of rejection when, following Hubby’s death, your in-laws exercise their right to send you back to your birth family.