As much as I enjoyed the book, I was not looking for a verbose epilogue. And, I should have trusted Dostoyevsky in this regard, since he has been pretty good at pacing up until now.
In the final 25-ish pages we get (most of) the threads of the story tied up.
There is an elaborate plan in place to get Dmitry out of his prison sentence. He is going to escape from the march to Siberia. There is a whole thing where he is going to escape to America, not to live there but to become “American” then return to Russia as an immigrant. This will allow him, and Grushenka to live without the pall of his sentence and his past hanging over him. Good luck with that.
The book also ends on an interesting note. The sick child from earlier in the book has died. And they are going to bury him. Aloysha makes a speech to the young boys about how to live life and not to forget the friends that they have made, and to go and live life to the fullest.
Ah, my children, my dear friends, don’t be afraid of life! How good life is when one does something noble and true!
This is obviously a message to the reader. Go! Embrace life and (basically) try not to be a jerk. I think that was about the right note to end the book on.
I think it’s going to take me a bit to absorb the book and reflect. Stay tuned for my thoughts.