War & Peace: Week 5

This post is certainly a little late this time, but I was gone all weekend, so I have a viable excuse.  This week's reading was a little more interesting: thankfully we're done with the battle stuff for now.  Phew.
Pierre Bezukhov who has become the unexpected heir of his father's fortune finds himself the new lovechild of society.  Everyone is suddenly friendly towards him when before he was ignored due to his questionable behavior, awkwardness and illegitimacy.  Pierre naively believes his overnight admirers to be sincere.
One of the first people to work himself into Pierre confidences is Prince Vasili Kuragin, who had been anxious to receive Count Bezukhov's fortune before his death.  Vasili's motive in befriending Pierre is to see him married to his daughter, the beautiful Helene (the only reason is Pierre's significant fortune).  Anna Pavlovna, whose party opened the novel, hosts another party after Pierre's sudden promotion in society, and sings the praises of Helene to Pierre.  While he is overcome by her beauty, Pierre is also struck by Helene's apparent stupidity, which puts him off.  Over time, however, Pierre's lighthearted infatuation with Helene deepens until he believes that marriage between them is inevitable.  In a rather strange, confusing scene at a party hosted in Helene's honor, Prince Vasili convinces the dazed Pierre, that he and Helene are engaged.  Soon after, they are married.  I can't say that it looks good for the both of them.
This week's reading was all about Prince Kuragin trying to marry off his children, because after the affair with Pierre, he sends word to Prince Bolkonski (the father of Andrew and Mary, who lives in a secluded castle in the country) to tell him that he plans to visit with his son, Anatole, who is known for being a bit of a troublemaker.  Kuragin plans to try and get his son married to the Prince's daughter, Mary.  Prince Bolkonski does not approve of Prince Kuragin, and his visit puts him in a bad mood, which is nothing new.  Mary is attracted to Anatole because he is handsome and strong, and he charms her.  However, Mary feels bound to her father, and when he gives her the choice of whether to accept Anatole's courtship or not, she turns the young man down.
And that wraps up this week's reading.  Rather appropriate for the impending Valentine's Day, though I doubt there is much true love between Pierre and Helene, and Mary would definitely be hosting an anti-Valentine's party, I think.

I will be back tomorrow for some mini book reviews!  xo, Ella

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