Saturday, July 16, 2011

War and Peace Summer Read-A-Long Week #2

War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy
Summer Read-A-Long sponsored by Laurie at What She Read blog.

 Week #2
Pages read:  112-200
Chapters read:  1-21
Volume 1, Part Two read.

So this hefty 3 pound tome is slowly getting lighter as my hands must be developing new muscles to hold the book up longer.  Although, I must admit reading in the bathtub, my reading spot of choice, is challenging at times.  I am worried it will slip out of my hands and do a back flip with a nose dive into the depths of the tub. So far I am holding on tight but this may become a table/deck only book.

Volume One, Part Two finds us in a embroiled in a tough military campaign in Austria.  The Russians are there to back up the Austrians, who are failing miserably.  The Russians and Austrians are fighting Napoleon's French army, who is actually winning and yet the Russians are able to survive one decisive battle.  Alexander I is conferring with the Prussians and hoping they will reinforce their side against the French.  The year is 1805 and it is October.  Most of the armies are bedraggled and ill kept, with shoes in ill repute and winter is coming.  Many foot soldiers walk hundreds of miles and in all weather conditions.  It amazes me.  I cannot imagine myself walking so far and preparing mentally and physically for battle.  They must also prepare for their demise, in case it occurs. 

The two main characters in Part Two are Andrei and Rostov.  Rostov is left wounded, his arm crushed in pain, while he contemplates why he left his loving family to join a war.  Andrei left his pregnant wife and overall seems to be doing well, even though he is shocked by many circumstances of the war, he overall is fairing better than most. 

Volume One, Part Two was a little slow for me.  It took me a really long time to read these pages and my mind and eyes kept drifting away.  I was confused by what was happening on the different sides of the war sometimes and found rereading didn't really help me figure it out.  I did like reading about Rostov and Andrei stories and reading about the war through their eyes. 

Next week Volume One, Part Three.
Until then, parting is such sweet sorrow.

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