This is another pretty self-explanatory chapter, but it is remarkable, because it’s the first time in the whole book (and what are we up to now – Book 6 out of 15?) where Tolstoy has given us some genuine romance.
Despite the fact that the whole book of War and Peace started with Prince Vasili and Anna Scherer conspiring to marry his kids off, we very quickly realised that the vast majority of marriages and relationships in War and Peace are not really fun places at all.
Andrei’s marriage seemed dreadfully strained, Pierre’s relationship with Helene seems to have been a train wreck waiting to happen, Boris & Natasha was a bit childish – well, okay, there is the Sonya/Nikolai romance, which is more like the genuine article – but I think Nikolai has to grow up a bit.
But when these two get together – Andrei and Natasha – for that dance, it’s like the stars have aligned. Contrast it with the rather cold mechanical description of Helen’s dance. With Andrei and Natasha, it’s much more than dance. It’s a romance. (In real life, you or I would probably gasp in horror that a man in his early 30s is hitting on a 16-year-old, but, look, Natasha’s Mum said it was okay, so just chill out, okay?)
Seriously, though, it all feels right. Or have I been watching too many romantic comedies with Rachel?
Either way, we’ll see you tomorrow.