Friday, April 8, 2011

War and Peace

Has anyone out there read this book?
The BIG Borders Bookstore was going bust and we just 'happened' to be there when it did.
The timing was ripe...

It was time to add another much considered Classic and have it grace the clutter of some shelf in the family library.
But I am waiting till summer to work up the courage to start that journey...
And Journey is an understatement for a volume like this - 1400 pages of fine print!  WHAT was I thinking?
Only two other books in the library rival this heavyweight in content and page number:  
The Annals of the World and Dictionary of the Christian Church.
Yes.  This is what sets me quaking. 
The gist of it...
At a lavish party in St. Petersburg in 1805, amid the glittering crystal and chandeliers, the room buzzes with talk of the prospect of war.  Soon battle and terror will engulf the country, and the destinies of its people will be changed forever.  War and Peace has as its backdrop Napoleon's invasion of Russia and at its heart three of literature's most memorable characters:  Pierre Bezukhov, a quixotic young man in search of life's meaning;  Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a cynical intellectual transformed by suffering in war;  and the bewitching Natasha Rostov, whose impulsiveness threatens to destroy her happiness.  As they seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by conflict in different ways, these characters and their stories interweave with those of a huge cast, from aristocrats to peasants, from soldiers to Napoleon himself.  Battles, love affairs, births, deaths, changing family fortunes, unforgettable scenes of wolf hunts, Russian dancing, starlit troika rides, the great comet of 1812 -- the entire spectrum of human life is here in all its grandeur and imperfection.
In his magnificent new translation, Anthony Briggs renders Tolstoy's masterwork in stirring prose both faithful to the original Russian and exquisitely accessible.  New readers and rereaders alike will discover not just an exciting story but also a deeply rewarding meditation on the tension between free will and fate as the forces of history move inexorably forward.  Epic and intimate, compassionate and engrossing, this is the must-read War and Peace.

Not A Fairy Tale

Encouragement from our friend Holley

(Inspired for release by yesterday's viewing of Tangled....
....Disney's fairly fun & decent recounting of Rapunzel)
I remember staying up late with friends to watch movies 
that always seemed to close with the same line...
And they lived happily ever after--
But real life often doesn't work that way. 

We hope and dream 
but things don't always turn out like we plan. 
We face trials, hard times, and we ask, "God, where are you in this story?"
God's path to "happily ever after"--to all going well with us--

looks different than ours. 
But in all of it we can trust that He has our good in mind, that He knows where the story is going, 
that He will love us and keep us every step of the way.
I've got a hunch many of your stories make Cinderella look like a sissy.
Something we do with a smile on our face the entire time? 
Not unless you're as unconscious as Sleeping Beauty.
Worth it?
Oh, yes, because one day our Prince will come.
Listen, sweet friend, as I take your heart by the hand and whisper these words...
Your story has a good ending. And it's not over yet.