Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

War & Peace Read-along: Week Seven, Book Ten (Chapters 1 to 30)

Well.  I think the less said about this week’s reading, the better.  If it hadn’t been for circumstances leaving me with substantial periods of time at tiny airports with nothing but my Kindle to entertain me, I’m really not sure if I’d have made it through the 30 chapters.  So, so dry.
Let’s move past the whole terrible experience with some prompts.
1) We seem to have a lot more War and a lot less Peace this week. How are you finding it?
Painful.  This week’s reading was what I’d worried the whole book would be like.  Confusing, dry and hard to follow.  I’ve been enjoying it so far but I’m struggling at the moment, it has to be said.
2) Do you feel you’ve learned anything about Russia, the Napoleonic Wars or the French Revolution from reading this novel?
I do actually feel as though I’ve learned a bit about the Napoleonic Wars.  I mean, I couldn’t exactly write an essay about it but I feel as though I know more about Napoleon’s shenanigans outside of Europe than I did before.  I’m not sure I’ve learned anything about Russia as such, unless it’s to learn that the social dynamics aren’t that dissimilar to England’s.
3) How reasonable do you think Princess Marya was over the death of her father?
I used to like Marya and I still feel sorry for her but Rostov?  Really?  I had a lot of respect for Marya when she was wondering about how much better her life would be without her horrible father but her response to his death was as confusing as their relationship.  It was actually some quite clever writing and a high point for the week (although that wasn’t tricky).  I’m hoping that she realises that her attachment to Rostov is just her falling for the first man to be nice to her.  Really hoping.  Either that or he’ll realise that he loves her too and they’ll live happily ever after.  Because that would be nice for Marya.
4) What exactly was the point in Pierre hurrying off to war? Has anybody actually figured this out!?
I don’t think even Pierre knows what the point in him going off to war was.  Unless of course it was to wear a hat and parade around looking at serfs digging trenches.  Or irritating Prince Andrew by appearing at his tent uninvited and talking about things that he doesn’t have experience of.  To be fair to him, at the end of my chapter 30, Pierre did seem to be about to wander off into the fray so maybe things will pick up soon.
Now let’s move on to another week and hope that things pick up!  I don’t think I can take many more chapters of dreary conversations and musings about whether or not Napoleon might have had a cold.