Half way through!
Alright, so I liked this week’s reading an awful lot more than I did the previous week’s. I felt like we’d moved away from irrelevant stories about bandits and following people I knew not whom, and actually got back to some good old not-so-petty (because hey, it’s not like it’s not justified) revenge.
I had a really good time this week. So much that I’ve all most finished this week’s reading as I write this, so excuse me if I get confused about which part was in which week.
It helps that I’ve totally sucuumbed to uselessness now, and every so often I check the Sparknotes chapter-by-chapter guide to make sure I haven’t missed anything. It’s not that it’s particularly dense or difficult to follow, but everybody seems to have children/ex-wives/step-mothers/God knows what and everybody is referred to by MULTIPLE DIFFERENT NAMES and I just like to check I have it straight in my head. I do have to keep stopping to think whose child Eugenie is, and who is Albert marrying, and who are his parents again? I do know the answers when I mull it over, but it’s not exactly at the tip of my fingertips.
Has Merecedes recognised Dantes!? It’s not really clear. If so though, she was remarkably nonchalant to say she’d seen her ex-bethrothed who she promised to wait for and promptly did not, and then married her slimy cousin. I hope she did recognise him – someone has to, after all.
We’ve got back to the drama this week! Secret romances and ‘dead’ babies in boxes and adopted mothers being set on fire. Was this sort of thing acceptable in 1844? Was there no public outcry!?
I love the whole ‘puppet master’ vibes thing going on here. Dantes (do we still call him that?) is pulling so many strings of so many different people. I do still think that a lot of this is coincidence, but considering the amount of plotlines and characters in this book, I’m willing to let it slide. It’s not spoiling my enjoyment of the book, I’ve just noted exactly how much of the ‘Person A bumping into Person B’ can’t really have been controlled by Dantes.
I’m not a fan of how Dantes treats Ali and Haidee, however. I believe that books should be read with a nod to the time in which they were written and therefore it’s mostly unfair to criticise the attitudes prevalent then that we cringe at today. However, I really hate the way he talks about them and, considering that slavery was effectively abolished in France in 1826, I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I mean, Dantes tells them that they’re free to leave him due to France’s laws, and they don’t, so he could at least be somewhat grateful? You know, instead of bitching about Ali shouldn’t be thanked for risking lis life to save Madame Danglars because it belongs to Dantes anyway? Ugh.
Who is Madame Villefort going to kill though!? Is this one of these things that is obvious to everybody but me or do we just not know? Is it Valentine? I mean, I’ve read further now and I know exactly who it is, but I really did think it would be Valentine as I was reading it. It keeps going on about how she has all his money and Edward most certainly does not.
I do want to say though, that the understanding and respect given to M.Nourtier is surprising for 1844. They haven’t packed him off for a sanatorium and they don’t just assume he’s a nutcase. It almost excuses the slave thing. I mean, well, no, but I appreciate it nevertheless.
Thank you to Reading in Bed for organising!