War and Peace Volume 1, Part 1, Chapter 17 Summary
After dinner, the older people start to play cards and the younger people stand around the piano singing songs.
Natasha notices that Sonya’s not there. She finds Sonya crying her eyes out on their nanny’s bed.
There’s a lot of sobby weeping and weepy sobbing, but the gist is basically this:
1. Sonya and Nikolai are second cousins, and to marry a cousin you need special permission from the Orthodox Church.
2. Sonya is worried that either way, Countess Rostov won’t let her marry Nikolai and wants him to marry that Julie chick instead.
3. Vera Rostov found some love poems that Nikolai wrote to Sonya and is threatening to show them to the Countess.
Natasha calms her down and tells her that they’ll make it work out.
They get back to the guests, sing a song, and get ready for the dancing portion of the party.
Natasha asks Pierre to dance – as a favor to her mom. She’s kind of psyched to be dancing with a grownup and makes a big deal out of acting like a lady.
Later Count Rostov asks Marya Dmitrievna to dance, tells the band to strike up some oldies, and busts a move like no one has seen in a long time. It’s totally hilarious and fun, and everyone has a great time watching him go to town.