War & Peace – The Epilogue

I was hoping to get one last picture of Max reading W & P out in the sun, but the camera battery is dead.  Oh well.  So, the Epilogue.  Didn’t care for it the first time around, but I think it might benefit from multiple readings.  Tolstoy not only tells us how things turned out for our major characters, but also his opinion of, well, everything.  He gives lots to think about and maybe I’m just not in place right now where I want to put that much effort into it.  Maybe it’s the glorious sun making me lazy. 

Before I tell you how everything turned out I need to tell you all how awesome Molly is.  Molly of The Bumbles is the best!  I had you guys pick a huge chunk of my reading list this year and you chose War & Peace.  I whined about it and Molly offered to read it with me.  Isn’t she an angel?  I have not been a great partner; my posts have rarely been up on time, but Molly has carried me through.  So, please visit her and see what she has to say on this last post. 

Natasha Rostov is a happily married woman.  She marries Pierre and has lots of kids and takes delight in her family.  She has changed from a spoiled, spirited girl to a woman who cares little about herself or appearance and puts all of her energy into her husband and children.  There is little spark in her now.  She keeps Pierre on a short leash because of her jealousy, but the two have a marriage that seems to work for both of them.  I am disappointed in this final version of Natasha.  I was hoping she would regain her old spirit and fire, but she has become a too content housewife.  She has lost herself in the family.

Princess Maria marries Nikolai after some effort on her part.  The two are surprisingly well suited and I enjoyed reading about their marriage.  They have lots of kids too, but somehow Maria retains Maria and this brings out the best in her husband.  They are clearly in love and Nikolai respects Maria’s intelligence and moral goodness.  Maria ends up in the best place.

Vaska Denisov shows up visiting with both families.  He’s retired but still interested in government and military affairs.  He’s a bachelor and although no mention is made of it I like to think he has a woman somewhere who loves him.

So, there it is.  I will give rating and a complete wrap-up post tomorrow in a review that looks like one.  Don’t worry it will be short.

8 thoughts on “War & Peace – The Epilogue

  1. Bumbles says:

    Nope – it wasn’t you. The last part of the Epilogue was pretty cruel to readers. Very dry and ad nauseum on topics and opinions he had already pretty well covered through it already in a much more entertaining way. He needed to just write a separate non-fiction essay since he was obviously so passionate about things.

    I was unsure how to take Pierre & Natasha’s marriage. At first I thought he would feel trapped and resentful to a wife who “let herself go” – caring only about hanging at home with the kids. But then I saw that he was so appreciative of her and in love with her – that the traits others saw as unfortunate he saw as beautiful. So I wondered why that would be. Pierre, much like Nikolai, always just wanted to be given a path to follow and to be loved. Natasha sets boundaries for him in a very loving environment.

    It was a pleasure reading along with you. I am grateful to have been able to share Tolstoy with you and our readers. It would have been a shame to experience it alone.

  2. Mary says:

    After reading Molly’s comment about the epilogue and now yours I may take a pass on that part when I read it.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this book. I’ll read it, I promise 🙂

  3. Margot says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, and Molly’s, on War and Peace. As I said on Molly’s blog – I’m glad you read it for me. At times it seemed very soap-opera-ish but it was fun to see what was happening with the characters. It didn’t seem like a novel with a lot of plot. I’m not sure why this is considered great literature. But I congratulate you on getting through it.

    • Bumbles says:

      It is great literature because of his writing and personalization of his characters. The structure of the book is very unique in that the author injects himself into the book as a direct narrator, mixing in his personal essays and thoughts with the fictional story. And his depictions of battle are from the emotional end – not the action. He’s a deep thinker and so he takes us into the characters’ minds, hearts and souls where we spend a lot of time learning through them – be they the emperor of France or a poor prisoner.

  4. Mary says:

    So it’s January 31, 2012 and I just finished reading War & Peace. You and Molly inspired me to give it a go back in 2010 so I wanted to stop by your final post and say well, thanks! I doubt I’ll even try to review it or even blog about it other than mention that I finished 🙂 I’m glad I read it but happy to have the experience behind me. Whew!

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