And yet again Vera does her best to make her brothers and sisters miserable. Is she jealous? Who knows . . . By the way, if you’ve got a copy of the book without footnotes or endnotes, the thing that Sonya is so upset about is that she technically can’t marry her cousin, Nikolay, unless she gets a special exemption from the Church. Of course, to do that, she’d have to Nikolay’s mum, and she’d feel like a freeloader. So she can say nothing – except to suffer in silence.
We then move into the singing and dancing part of the book (really, if Tolstoy was around now – he’d be writing for Bollywood), including the lengthy description of the count dancing his Daniel Cooper. In any other book, this would be redundant. But could you really imagine cutting this out? (Well, maybe you could – but I wouldn’t want to read your version of the book.)