There is so much more to this book than I suspected on first reading. The first time, as usual, I was interested in the plot and the characters and that about did it. It was a fine, fine book – I fell in love with Count Rostov. A group chose it for a discussion and although I was certain they would enjoy it as I did – I wasn’t sure it would stand up to a second reading.
Well, dear reader, it holds up wonderfully well to a second reading.
The first reading seemed a bit slow in places – the story had a hard time getting off the ground and I suppose, not really “knowing” the Count yet, I got impatient. The second time I was already familiar with the man and understood what would “happen.” That left me time to appreciate the finer points of the novel, the allusions to Montaigne at the beginning, the Count’s wistful nostalgia for the past, the motif of chess,