The whole reason my blog and facebook group exist is because I support the indie authors, the self published rebels. A club I hope to be apart of someday soon. Bragging that I finally tackled WAR&PEACE doesn’t seem like it fits the mold. BUT it does, just 154 years late. Война и миръ was consider historical fiction even in its time. I was shocked when I learned how many people, even in the literary world, were unsure about when Война и миръ was wrote let alone if it was a current story at the time. Leo’s wife ,Sophia, would have LOVED KU even a PA would have put Sophia over the moon. A typewriter? Not yet, she didn’t get one till the hard part was over. Initially written in Russian with deliberate passages in French, Sophia HAND WROTE the first five drafts out of her husband’s meandering trail of notes and dictation. Personally I would have told my husband…You started it, You finish it, so obviously Sophia was a better wifey than I am. The first full length publication clocked in at 1, 225 pages…hand written would have been way more and Sophia couldn’t run to Target and stock up on notebooks. Is there a St. Sophia?? I love to read in languages I study and you can find versions of Война и миръ with the French and Russian passages only, as Russian nobility did NOT speak Russian the story couldn’t be told without French, crazy, right? Can you imagine if America’s 1% did not know English at all except the bare minimum to talk to the servants?? Who, lets be honest, in Russian’s social hierarchy, servants were basically slaves. Over one thousand pages of a ‘new release’ was not going to happen in 1863 from a guy no one had heard of, heck it isn’t even probable in today’s competitive publishing market. But Sophia and Leo worked their butts off and needed this Historical piece to see the light of day. In 1865 it became serialized. Reading it this way really irked Leo and he, more like Sophia, rewrote the whole thing with a different ending ( a little happier ending for the character, Pierre, the character that is representative of Tolstoy’s reaction to the belief and class system of the day.) Now this big hunk of world renowned fiction is cut into four parts and the GIANT epilogue is two parts. NO ONE taught Tolstoy that sometime less is more, no epilogue should be two parts let alone longer than most books in general. There are five different families intertwined by TRAGIC events of LOVE and WAR, seriously some sad schizzle went down, I thanked God for modern medicine every twenty pages or so. The families in the throws of this are The Bezukhovs, Bolkonskys, Rostovs, Kuragins, and Druloetskoys. In a later Masterpiece Leo would Write: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” I think this quote is more fitting to War&Peace than Anna K. Other than being reminded that two hundred years ago life was ROUGH in Russia, pretty much everywhere, we are reminded that a big house, amazing dresses, jewels, and servants does not mean you are happy AND it definitely does not mean you can afford the big house, dresses, jewels, and servants. I could give you the book report version of a review, but that is not my style ….that is what Wikipedia is for. Obviously. I was an American Lit & English major for my first degree and in all my literature classes I was able to avoid War&Peace, it easily would have been a whole semester. I know now eighteen-year-old me would not have appreciated it as much as forty-four year old me did. If you read WAR&PEACE just five minutes a day you can complete it in a year. By this time next you, YOU could say “I read War&Peace!” AND if you already have, congratulations on a huge undertaking.