Now, you might have to cast your mind back for this character, but if you remember Natasha’s Dad and his Daniel Cooper dance way back in Book 1 – this is the rather large old woman that he was dancing with.
Still friends with the Rostovs, despite all their financial difficulties, she is looking after the girls while they’re in Moscow. There’s not a lot that happens in this chapter, but the standout thing for me was that Marya Dmitryevna is clearly of the old school of Russian aristocrat.
She immediately draws a distinction between Natasha and Sonya, based on their social standing, and treats them differently because of it. Poor old Sonya . . . I’m almost wishing at this stage that some other person would show up and woo her, but I don’t think there’s really any characters of that type around.
There’s Boris, but there’s no way we’d want to let him loose on her. There’s Ratbag Kuragin, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Nor would I wish Hippolyte on anyone.
There is Pierre, but he’s married, and I don’t think he’d be her type.
And so that really does only leave us with Nikolai . . .
Complicated, isn’t it? A novel with more characters than you can shake a stick at and we can’t get someone decent to pair up with Sonya . . .
Well, we’ll come back tomorrow to see how Natasha goes meeting her prospective father-in-law.