When Max heard that the boys were going to war this week he really wanted to be involved. So, I set up a nice little reading spot by the window and let him take it all in. He liked that there were less girly parties and gossip and more battles and strategy. Oh, and he thought it was very cool that he got to read about Napoleon, he’d heard about that dude before. Max is giving these two parts two paws up.
So, this week Molly and I finished Volume I by reading Parts 2 & 3. The men went off to war to battle for Russia against the French invasion. We do take occasional visits to the Bolkonskys at Bald Hills, and the Rostovs in Moscow, but the bulk of the action is on the battlefield involving, mainly, two key players, Prince Andrei and Prince Nikolai.
So, a little about what happened to my four characters…
Vasily Denisov I finally met him. From now on I’ll call him Vaska Denisov because that’s what he’s called in the book. Here’s his physical decription…”a small man with a red face, shining black eyes, and disheveled black mustaches and hair.” He has another physical characteristic that makes him easy to identify when reading. He “swallows his r’s” so that started looks like staghrted when he talks. I don’t know much about him except that he gambles and seems to distinguish himself in battle. He’s friends with Prince Andrei.
Prince Andrei Bolkonsky He wants nothing more than to distinguish himself and to impress his father, who he writes to everyday. He places himself with the right people and becomes an adjunct to the commander-in-chief. He has a hero complex but he smart, haughty, and connected so I expect him to go far. He is friends with Vaska, mixed it up with Prince Nikolai and challenged him to a fight at a later time. At the end of this volume he had been wounded and Napoleon himself had saved him from the battlefield. As the French Army leaves him with locals he is not expected to live.
Princess Maria Bolkonsky Last week I said I felt sorry for her and I still do. Prince Vassily Kuragin shows up at Bald Hills with his son, Prince Anatole, and tries to make a match between the two. Much was made of her plainness and even ugliness and she grudgingly let herself hope that the handsome Prince would love her as much as she loved him at first sight. This was not to be and betrayal left Maria convinced she would never marry.
Natasha Rostov We meet up with Natasha when the family receives a letter from her brother, Nikolai. She admits to Sonya that she is already forgetting her boyfriend Boris now that he has gone off to war and a comment is made that she (Natasha) has a crush on Count Pierre. Time will tell. Oh, and we found out that she is terrible at keeping secrets!
I liked these two parts less than the first, but I think military or history buffs (like Max) would appreciate the battle descriptions more that I did. So, how did Molly’s characters make out? I personally think that Prince Nikola has some real issues and am unsure about this Pierre/Helene pairing. Go on over and see what she has to say.