“We imagine that as soon as we are torn out of our habitual path all is over, but it is only the beginning of something new and good. As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is a great deal, a great deal before us.”
I didn’t think I’d make it to the end! I started War and Peace to challenge myself and read this well-known and beloved classic. This book, while very readable, can be challenging to get through. Just when I found myself getting into the story, Tolstoy would direct my attention to topics or events I didn’t always find interesting. My main issue with War and Peace was its length and Tolstoy’s tendency to ramble. I would have loved to hear the man speak his thoughts, beliefs, and ideas, but having them in the book sometimes felt too much.
There are also a lot of characters in this book which made it quite confusing in the beginning. Significant characters were mentioned often enough though, so I was soon able to keep track of who was who.
To sum it up, I loved War and Peace. There is so much to this book. Other than the obvious topics on war, peace, and history, Tolstoy touched on themes of love, family, power, ambition, loss, and death. His ability to write about human nature continues to amaze me because his characters feel quite real. It’s as if he was an invisible observer from 1805 to 1813, going all over Russia spying and documenting the lives of certain families. Soon enough, I became invested. And oh did I feel a lot of things! I was mad, happy, hopeful, and hurt.
Would I recommend War and Peace? Absolutely. But be patient with it. It’s long and it can be dry sometimes, but there are many things to pick up from it.