This is a very simple chapter, but it shows how Natasha gradually recovered from her own grief (ironically, by helping her mother deal with her’s) and it also shows the increasing friendship with Princess Marya.

I really liked this chapter because coming as it does at the end of the book, it’s kind of like the healing process is beginning for Russia and bonds are starting to be formed – starting with these two women. It’s also kind of nice because, although War and Peace has had some truly random moments over the last year, Tolstoy is starting to tie some loose ends and give us a sense of closure.

It’s somewhat like a massive symphony winding to a close, where all the different themes come together and are resolved in the end – starting with this one.

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3 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 15.3 – Healing

  1. Hi Matthew, what an excellent idea for a blog. I’ve just finished War and Peace. I read it a lot faster and thus got a lot less out of it. Your project means you’re never going to forget War and Peace and the world is going to remember your reading of it, too.

  2. I think there will probably be a few loose ends that are left untied – life, after all, always has its share of loose ends – but you’re right, Matt, we do get a certain sense of resolution in chapters like this. I think the thing that struck me the most in this chapter was the way in which Marya and Natasha both developed an empathy with each other – their lives and worlds had, before now, been so far apart and, earlier, it was almost impossible to imagine either understanding the other … but, through the bond that they had developed in their grief, they both learned to appreciate, even to embrace, each other’s world.

    The other thing that really strikes me in these last few chapters is the way that they are so introspective – so “quiet” after all the noise and wild chaos of the battle scenes, and their aftermath, in the last book. It’s another mark, I think, of Tolstoy’s enormous skill as a writer, that he is able to create both worlds so well, and draw us so fully into either.

  3. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks very much for the post! Such a shame you didn’t find us earlier – it would have been fantastic to have a writer commenting on the novel as well. I’ll have to keep an eye on your blog as well. Maybe if we read another book?

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