So Andrew has really caught the love bug with Natasha, and he gets permission from her family, but his father will only approve until a year has gone by or until he’s dead. Andrew and Natasha agree to wait, though it is torture for the two of them. There was an interesting moment when Andrew has cold feet after the unofficial betrothal has gone through where he sees her as childish (as I predicted) and has fear of his duty to her for her that extends for the rest of their lives. But he gets past it, it seems, and is determined to make the match. Good for him!
Then there’s his weird sister Mary, who is an “old” maid and is determined to go on a random religious pilgrimage and hopes to die in the course of it. Crazy.
And quote of this section: Andrew’s observation on the people (Berg and Vera) who talk about “in our days” who believe “That human characteristics change with the times.” Clearly anyone who enjoys classic literature–and anyone who writes with the hope that more than just this generation can enjoy it–will agree with Andrew that people have universal characteristics that bind us together across time and space.