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This was a busy section of the book! I was waiting on pins and needles for Kitty to have the baby, to see what impact it might have on her, on Levin, and on their relationship. They all pretty much reacted as I'd come to expect. Levin, with his exuberant hopes and his insecurities ultimately ended up enthralled with the child, though he was a bit ambivalent at first. Kitty seems like she'll be a wonderful mother. I've been very impressed with her maturity since she decided to marry Levin - such a change from the flighty young girl she was at the beginning of the book. And, ultimately, I think this will be a good thing for their relationship, though I was concerned that Levin might end up jealous of even his own child with all his insecurities.

All the money woes make me think of the economy today - a few people with more than enough and everyone else going in to debt deeper and deeper in order to appear to be one of them. Stiva's money woes are particularly troubling as I worry about Dolly and the children. Levin, too, hasn't been very responsible about expenses and yet still goes out to the club to eat and drink and gamble even though he's not sure where he's going to make his next nickel. I really liked him better in the country.

And Anna....such a troubled soul. Really, she frustrated me greatly in this section with her internal conflicts bubbling out to create strife between her and Vronsky. He's certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but she's turned him into a perfect villian in her mind and he hasn't done anything to deserve that label. I feel sorry for him, trying to deal with her jealousy and paranoia and getting nowhere for his trouble. I never expected it to end the way it did, however. That last paragraph really threw me for a loop! Her earlier suicidal ideations seems like just more of her histrionics. Such a waste....

I have just a few chapters left until I'm done the book. Thanks so much to everyone who participated! I don't think I'd have gotten through this without the motivation of the readalong. It certainly kept me picking up the book through the slower parts and I'm very glad that I did. :)
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Gold stars this time for Sherria & bookthia... & a whole Milky Way for bcsobergirl who has probably read the complete works of Leo Tolstoy by now :)

... but for the rest of us mere mortals, could another catch-up week be contemplated? I've just hit the first half of Part 5 & could surely appreciate the encouragement of not being *too* far behind. :)

Also, I'll be leaving for my long-awaited Europe trip in twelve days' time (yay!). Could another of you lovely readers volunteer to take charge of the readalong in the meantime? Thank you!

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I'm enjoying the book, but these characters are really annoying me!

Levin is really getting on my nerves. His jealousy and out of proportion reaction to a visitor's interactions with Kitty seemed ridiculous. And his little temper tantrum when hunting didn't go well was just childish. A lot of his reactions in this section struck me a childish, from the temper and jealousy to his lack of social/political accumen at the elections. Beside him Kitty, despite her youth, seems quite mature! In fact, she's the only one I really like.

Anna's insecurity was also annoying. It's in her power to change her situation, but she just wallows in self-pity and panics when Veronsky is out of her sight. Veronsky himself redeemed himself in my eyes quite a bit in this section. Life as a rich country landowner seems to suit him well. It appears that he's done a lot of good since they moved to the country. While he misses "society" it almost seems that he misses it more for Anna's sake than his own; he seems quite content in the country himself. I can understand his feelings about Anna's clinginess (is that a word??) and how that makes him feel the need for some freedom.

Like someone commented in the last thread (sorry, I can't remember who!) I really wonder why this novel is called Anna Karenina. She doesn't seem any more important or central than any of the other characters.

I'm interested to see what happens in Moscow, with Kitty and Levin there for her "confinement" (what a backwards concept!), and Anna and Voronsky headed there for the winter. Will Anna get her divorce? Will she and Voronsky marry? Will she get to spend time with her son? Will she still be shut out of society? Will everything go well with Kitty's birth? How will Levin react to fatherhood? So many questions....I think I need to go read some more!
Current Mood:
thoughtful
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I'm almost to the end of this section (will finish it tonight) and I'm getting drawn more and more into the story. The characters are really coming alive for me in the last two sections and it's harder to set the book aside.

Anna and Vronsky's time in Italy showed a lot about their relationship, I think. He's just not ever going to be satisfied with what he has. He seems like one of those people that get to the top of the mountain just to see what else there is to climb.

Anna's husband surprised me in this section. I never pictured him as the type to fall apart. He seemed to cold to be affected by external things like his relationship. I suppose that his focus on appearances is at the root of it, but it seems like he's lost his internal compass without Anna there. The revelation that he was unsure about the marriage before it ever happened, and was coerced into it by Anna's relative was an eye-opener! I assumed he had married her for status, and a barbie doll to have on his arm. It never occurred to me that he had qualms about the relationship before it ever happened. He just doesn't seem like the type.

Kitty really impressed me in the section about Levin's brother. I expected Levin to fall apart and be unable to do anything productive but I didn't expect Kitty to react to self-sufficiently. She really took charge and kept things going in the right direction! Despite her time at "the waters" when she did a little soul searching, I still saw her as self-absorbed and spoiled. This section improved my opinion of her and Levin sunk a little more in my esteem. It's one thing for him to have difficulty dealing with a dying brother, but to resent Kitty for wanting to support him and supposing that she's doing it completely in self-interest was unfair.

Off I go to read the last 30 or so pages!
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Back from our catch-up week - how did you go?
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Should we have an amnesty for slower readers? What do you think? I know the amazing bcsobergirl is running rings around us but for other mere mortals...

I noticed that we seem to have lost a few readalongers during Part III - maybe a catch-up week would be the most practical way of solving this while maintaining momentum. Please post your thoughts about pace here - & while it's not possible to please everyone, we can try our best.

As one of the laggards, a big thank you to those who have encouraged us to keep plugging away... especially through the farming bits! Talk about sublimation!!!

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Post here if you're up to speed. (I know I'm not!)
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Here in my part of the world it's already Monday - so post away, everyone!

For this thread we're experimenting with everyone on LiveJournal. Fingers crossed :)

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