Ah, youth! And damnable old people! The more things change the more things stay the same.
All the young ones are just trying to live their lives and the grown ups are either grumpy or making bad financial decisions or acting poorly thus causing their children all kinds of consternation. And the kids just want to live their lives and love.
And all the while the serfs keep tilling and harvesting and trying not to die. But I digress.
I’m in the middle third of the great novel now. I know the characters. The honeymoon is over. The initial excitement is over and yet the finale is a long way off. But I’m not feeling it’s been a slog at all. Ok, maybe a bit. Tolstoy keeps opening up and developing the characters ever so slightly. While I believe Andrei and Natasha are the romantic stars here, I’ve found the others more interesting. Marya’s inner struggle at the end seems profound. Pierre fumbling around for enlightenment and wisdom strikes a bit too close to home as does the striving of Boris.
And as a striving writer, I’m more and more intimidated by Tolstoy. He’s a god.
This is a brilliant guide, btw: https://medium.com/@BrianEDenton/a-year-of-war-and-peace-cc66540d9619