Reading for Monday, June 8
And here we see more of the domestic side of the Rostov home – but this time Nikolai’s fiery temper and his habit of getting into punch-ups with unruly peasants. Marya is horrified, but from memory – it’s been a while since we read that chapter – the way they first met was Nikolai punching up some peasants who didn’t want to help Marya escape from the attacking French.
So the very habit that sewed the seed of romance is now the seed of marital discord. But rather amusing marital discord (well, at least I found it funny).
What’s far sadder is what’s happened to poor old Sonya. She just seems to have accepted her place and lumped it. Despite what I (or any other readers) thought she might have deserved, she’s really turning into an old maid at the Rostov’s place . . . and that’s pretty much where this chapter leaves us.
There’s a certain worry about getting near the end of a book like this, because if you don’t like the state that a character is in, you know there’s only a few more chapters to fix the problem, and if they don’t get fixed – that’s it. Forever and ever, that character is going to be stuck in that situation. (A facet of fiction that is played with in a rather light-hearted and amusing fashion by author Jasper Fforde in his zany fiction The Eyre Affair.)
So if this is the last we hear of Sonya, that’s it for her . . . sigh . . .