Vanity Fair Readalong – Midway Check-in

Posted 1 March, 2013 by Trish in Reading Nook / 13 Comments

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We’re at the halfway point of the Vanity Fair readalong. Theoretically we’re all at Chapter 34 and we’ve met sweet little Becky Sharp and even sweeter Amelia Sedley. We’ve been to Brighton and meet about a million Crawleys and now we’re in the midst of Waterloo (actually the battle is over). Miss Crawley has taken a dis/liking to Becky who has stolen Rawdon’s heart…and some of his goodies which she’s sewn into her dress just in case. Even though we’re halfway through the book, I have a feeling that things are just starting to heat up. And just in case there weren’t enough Crawleys, we’ve just been introduced to more!
So, as promised…my very rough draft of the Crawley Family Tree. Very rough. As in I scrawled this on a piece of paper and held it up while Scott scanned it with his iphone. But you should be able to enlarge the graphic by clicking on it. I have only included unions and bebes up to Chapter 34.

How would you like for your name to be Grizzel? Ya–me neither. Or your surname Sheepshanks? Ha!!

At this halfway point, I’ll leave you with a few of my random thoughts, a few random questions, and then please feel free to link up your midway post if you have one (no obligation…) and please feel free to discuss in the comments. If you are past Chapter 34, please try to avoid spoilers beyond that point.

Few Random Thoughts
–I’m loving the narrator and his quirky little sidenotes and tidbits.the social commentary on public and private life.
–Becky is a piece of work. Though I have to say it’s tough for me to get Reese Witherspoon out of my head!
–George Osborne is a jerk and poor Dobbin…oh poor Dobbin.
–Why are there so many Crawleys!!
–It’s hard not to picture old spinster Miss Crawley as Violet Grantham from Downton Abbey, huh?

Few Random Questions
–How does Vanity Fair compare to your preconceived notions of the book?
–Who is your favorite character? Your favorite Crawley? (kidding). Least Favorite?
–Is Becky terribly conniving or terrifically clever?
–At this halfway point do you see any redeemable characters in the mix?
–Most shocking moment of the story so far?

If you happened to write a midway post, please link it below:

Looking forward to the second half! Don’t forget to check in again with Melissa on the 15th!

(oh, and happy March. I’m personally thrilled February is behind us)

13 Responses to “Vanity Fair Readalong – Midway Check-in”

  1. I promise to come back to leave a much better comment later today! I’ll also be a bit further along so I’ll be less terrified of spoilers!

  2. Thank you for the diagram! I think I’ve added extra Crawley’s in my mind because of the approach to naming and formalities. Reese Witherspoon here too, impossible not to visualise her.

    It’s a funnier book than I’d thought, though harder going and dull in places. I don’t think Becky’s as bad as I’d thought she would be, and would say she’s both conniving and clever.

    • Charlie – And I totally missed that Miss Crawley’s first name is Matilda! I didn’t realize when I started this one that those Crawleys would be playing such a big roll in the book. Glad you’re enjoying the book–I’m finding it quite witty, too.

  3. I love that your chart has (piece of work) under Becky’s name. Perfect!

    – Preconceived notions: Definitely wasn’t expecting it to be so funny. There are dry parts, but I’m actually enjoying it.
    – Fav character: I love Dobbin, but I feel so bad for him! He’s just such a good guy, so of course I’m worried he’ll finish last. I think George is my least favorite. Not only was he selfish, he also only did the right thing when it was a chance to rebel against his father’s wishes. So right thing for the wrong reason, which was really the wrong thing for Amelia. Ugh.
    – Becky conniving or clever: I think she’s both! She’s absolutely conniving, but she’s had to be in order to get ahead in life, which makes her clever. I think her greed and ambition has made the conniving part get out of control though. Her selfish nature makes her disregard the feelings of others and she never thinks about how the consequences of her action will affect people other than herself.
    – Redeemable characters: I would say Amelia, but I just wish she was a stronger person, I would like her more.
    – Most shocking moment: Finding out Becky was secretly married!
    Great questions!

    • Melissa – Thanks for noticing. ;) I wish I had time to draft something fancier up on the computer but handwritten it is. And yes–I agree about the humor in the book. Makes it quite a delight. And I like Dobbin as well but wish that he had a bit more courage to fight for the things that he wants. It will be interesting so see him develop in the second half.

      And yes! I was SHOCKED when I found out about Becky’s marriage. What a twist!

  4. Wish I’d had your family tree *before* all those Crawleys were introduced! Love your little notes:-)

    -Preconceived notions: VF is much more entertaining than I’d expected!
    -Favorite character: Not really wild about any of them, but Becky is the most interesting. George is awful!
    -Becky: The jury is still out for me, but the author always seems to justify her actions (I included a quote in my post)
    -Redeemable characters: Sadly, no. There may be hope for Dobbin and Amelia though.
    -Shockers: Two so far – Becky’s secret marriage, and learning of George’s fate

    • JoAnn – LOL–me too. And I think that by the end of the book I’ll probably have to add a few more Crawleys to the mix. And I’m so glad that everyone is finding this book so much more fun to read than they expected. I was so scared of the length but I’m finding it much easier to digest than I feared. And like you I have high hopes for Dobbin as well–he just needs to stand up for what he wants!

  5. Ahhh that chart is genius! There are waayyyyy too many Crawleys!

    1. How does Vanity Fair compare to your preconceived notions of the book?
    – Totally loving it, thought it would be boring and stuffy and it’s so not!

    2. Who is your favorite character? Your favorite Crawley? (kidding). Least Favorite?
    – Becky is totes my favorite character. And Matilda really is my favorite Crawley, just because she such a spiky old lady. I HAAAATTTTE Osborne with the fire of a thousand suns.

    3. Is Becky terribly conniving or terrifically clever?
    – BOTH, which is why she’s awesome.

    4. At this halfway point do you see any redeemable characters in the mix?
    – Dobbin is a good guy, if he could just be a bit more assertive. Otherwise, not really.

    5. Most shocking moment of the story so far?
    Ummmm… Becky tossing that book out the window? Or Osborne freaking lighting his cigars with Amelia’s love letters??

    This book is so fun!!!

    • Sarah – LOLOL!! The thought of hating Osborne with the fire of a thousand suns. Yup–he pretty much is a rotten bastard, huh? I couldn’t believe it when he was lighting her love letters on fire or even some of the other mean little things that he did and said to her. It’s interesting to see what everyone has said for “redeemable character.” Looks like the boat is still out on that one!

  6. I’m in the middle of Chapter 33 now and feeling much more up-to-date about all the happenings. You know, I’m not sure I had any preconceived notions about VF other than it looked miserably long. It has been flying by fairly quickly though. As far as the characters are concerned, I want to spit on most of them except Dobbins. George had it coming and I’m glad he ended up face down. Amelia needs to stop crying and nearly dying every page from some new heartache. My sole wish is for Amelia to gather enough gumption and self-respect to smack Becky upside her blonde little head. Becky is probably my favorite character just because she’s wickedly evil which makes for great reading.

    Your chart is awesome! I’m dismayed to hear more Crawleys are coming.