War and Peace is the greatest classic epic Russian novel from Count Leo Tolstoy. Its name is synonymous in English with something very long. Like "What are you writing in that birthday card, War and Peace?".
War and Peace is actually one of my favourite books ever (even though it took me half a year to read it in my native language). When we had to read it in school in Moscow, no one enjoyed it. Of course not, we were too young to appreciate it really.
I know it sounds impossible for a foreigner to read it in the language of original, and I don’t encourage you to do it; it also might sound not appealing to start such a heavy book in English (my husband Mark just reads my favourite chapters), but there is a great chance to introduce yourself to the novel by watching the TV show made by BBC. Me and my husband watched it about 6 times already, that’s how much we loved it
The plot is complex, but I'll do my best:
The story starts in the Russian Empire in 1805. Three friends Pierre, Natasha and Andrei are young, ambitious and privileged. As we see their lives unfold, Napoleon and the French army begins its conquest of the Russian empire - that's the War bit. We see the impact of the war on the lives of the three friends.
In the end, Napoleon's campaign is unsuccessful and he retreated. Over the course of the story, the friends have married, divorced, loved and lost. They have undergone so many trials and tribulations, but you fall in love with the characters.
If you can get the BBC version, it's a very enjoyable viewing, so give it a go, you won't regret it.
Enjoy the book, the tv series or the film!
And if you are interested in learning Russian, get in touch today.