War & Peace Read-along: Week Five, Book Eight
I will give Tolstoy kudos for one thing – it’s quite nice reading about men prowling around after rich heiresses rather than the other way round! I don’t know if that says something about Russian society at the time but I don’t think I’ve read many books set in England in the same time period where the men are openly heiress hunting. I’m obviously happy to be proven wrong but I’m interesting myself for the time being. ANYway, do I think Mary will get married? No. I think she’ll keep not noticing when people are flirting with her, offending potential suitors, making excuses for not meeting people or taking up opportunities and just generally ruining her own chances. She makes me sad. Her father’s awful, her brother’s a bit of a tool, she didn’t like her penfriend in real life and lost that small ray of hope. The girl makes my heart hurt.
I’m disappointed in Boris for not giving Mary more of a chance to notice his advances and I think that he thought that he could maybe love her but obviously it’s more important to snag yourself a wealthy wife than it is to wait for pesky love to turn up so for that he deserves stupid Julie and her stupid weird book of gloomy poetry.
Incidentally, one thing I’m glad to know is that I’m not the only person who was confused by the Kuragin/Karagin thing!
What a MORON! I felt sort of sorry for her when Anatole first deciding she was his next conquest because he is obviously quite the sexual predator but she went too far with the undying love and the eloping nonsense. I get that he’s handsome and she’s young and she misses the fiancé that’s been away ever since they got engaged but really, Natasha? You REALLY want to elope with a man who you’ve met a couple of times? And then you’re going to try and poison yourself when the only two characters that aren’t vile save you from becoming the second wife of a dickhead that targeted you because you were young and would “lose your head”?! ARGH! I enjoyed reading it but that does not mean I liked it. She’s an idiot. The only advantage to her idiocy is that it’s given Pierre the opportunity to stop mumbling to himself about the Freemasons and do something useful. I liked him in this book and I liked the way that he was with Andrew when he got back.
Also, my weird edition called the chapter that they were smooching at the party “Anatole makes love to Natasha” and I’ve got to be honest – WHAT? If she’s pregnant in a few chapters, though, we’ll know it was true.
What a truly great question! There were a lot of characters being dickish this week! I found Helene quite vile this week, what with her excessive bosoming around the place and luring Natasha to a party so that Anatole could have his way with her (apparently). Anatole was obviously a complete creep. Dolokhov didn’t redeem himself from his previous misdeeds and is still clearly out to be a pain in the arse of society. If I could slap one face, however, it would be Natasha’s. Without a second thought. And I’d enjoy it. I’m not a massive Andrew fan but I thought he was improving with Natasha so if she can’t keep it together for a single year without constructing a tragic plan to elope, it’s a poor effort. Plus, she was awful to Sonya, who’s basically one of the only people who’s actually decent. Shove off, Natasha.