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While Andrei is away in Germany, his dad grows more and more bitter, angry, resentful, and generally unpleasant. Most of this gets unleashed on poor Marya.
She tolerates all the abuse, mostly because of her religious faith.
Marya writes a letter to Julie Karagin, whose brother has just died in the Russian military action in Turkey.
The letter talks about how religion is the only way to feel solace after a loved one’s death. Then Marya gets personal, talking about her own experiences with Liza’s death and how much she still relies on her faith to get through the day.
She then says that she has to decline Julie’s invitation to go to Moscow. Prince Bolkonsky is so infuriated that Emperor Alexander is treating Napoleon like an equal that it’s made him crazy and even sicker than before.
Finally, she tells Julie that Andrei seems to be feeling better, for the first time since his wife’s death five years ago. Except he’s not as healthy as he used to be. Still, she thinks he’ll never remarry.