War and Peace-Book One of Fifteen
"St. Petersburg, 1805, and the aristocratic Anna Pavlovna is holding a lavish party. The cream of society is there and, amid the glittering crystal and chandeliers, the room buzzes with talk of the emperor Napoleon and the prospect of war on Russia. Soon battle and terror will engulf the country, and the destinies of three young people will be changed forever by the momentous events that follow: the bumbling, quixotic Pierre, looking for life's meaning; the cynical Prince Andrey, who becomes ennobled by suffering in war; and the beautiful Natasha, whose impulsiveness threatens to destroy her future. As they seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes and become scarred by conflict in different ways, their stories interweave with those of a huge cast of compelling characters, from aristocrats and royalty to peasants, soldiers and Napoleon himself." "Filled with battles, love affairs, births, deaths, changing family fortunes and reflections on the inexorable nature of history, with scenes including wolf-hunts, Russian dancing, starlit troika rides and the great comet of 1812, the entire spectrum of human life is here in all its grandeur and imperfection. Both epic and intimate, Ware and Peace is a masterwork of compassion, imagination and understanding."