Volume II, Part One and Two
Somehow 2 years have passed as we began the book in 1805 and it is now 1807. Happily this section passed much easier than the previous one as we zeroed in on the characters in "peace." However by the end, we had returned to war and my reading bogged down. I should time myself because I'm pretty sure the war sections take far longer to read than the peace. So much happens in this section-birth, death, duels, religious conversions, love, no love, etc.
I am trying to take the advice of another reader to just sit back and let the story flow over me. I'm not entirely sure I have a handle on all the characters (and I really wish the women got to do more/be more interesting) but I'm not stressing about it. Pierre and Nikolai seemed to be the most important in these sections with the former dueling, embracing induction into the Freemasons, and pushing for reforms on his estate while the latter loses a tremendous amount of money to a romantic rival and returns to battle. I would say that covers the bulk of the action although of course there are a lot more details that Tolstoy incorporated that I'm not entirely sure I'm catching.
Amy's post reminded us that we're just about 1/3 of the way through-definitely something to celebrate. I'm really proud of myself for sticking so faithfully to this schedule and getting my posts up. This readalong is the perfect motivation for me!
Next section is Volume II, parts Three and Four