Book 5 Chapter 6 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones over the course of four years.
52 chapters in! That means that I've been recording and posting Tom Jones chapters for one whole year! It also means I'm now one quarter of the way through the book!
It occurs to me that I've never fully explained why exactly I've taken this project on. Well, first off, I love Tom Jones. It's a wonderful example of early English novels. It's funny, has a twisty-turny plot, and is actually quite raunchy. But it's the sort of book I'd never be hired to do. I'm just not British enough to take on such a project. But I also had an idea of working on a long-term project, where I could explore how my voice and performance style change over a period of years. Tom Jones just happened to work out quite nicely, with 208 chapters in total, meaning that at a rate of one chapter per week, it would take exactly four years. This coincidence seemed to beg for this treatment. In this project, each chapter is a snapshot of where I am in my process of audiobook narratorship. This entire project isn't meant to end in one coherent audiobook, ready to be listened to. I would assume that it would be very uneven. I might sound very different by the end, and, I would hope, improve in my performance over the course of the four years. Heck, I don't even reference my previous interpretations of characters when I record them again. This also fits in with Tom Jones being the story of a young man growing up and maturing into adulthood.
Anyway, on to the chapter discussion.
This is a massive chapter, plot-wise. First off, we discover that the baby is most likely not Tom's, and in fact he and Square are only Molly's second stringers for her main squeeze, a horrible-sounding rogue named Will Barnes. So, this seems like we're finally done with the Moll Seagrim story... for now.
Tom is free to finally express his feelings to Sophia, which leads to an overwrought and melodramatic scene between them (I had a lot of fun recording it, as you can hear). Now everything that stands between the two young lovers is resolved, they can finally move on and live happily ever after, right?
Well, the chapter ends on an ominous note. Tom receives some surprising news, which we'll all find out about next week.