The book War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a story about the lives of the Russian royal family from 1805 to 1815. This book describes things and events that happened during the war. The story begins at a cocktail party being held at the home of Anna Pavolvna in St. Petersburg.
Most of the action, however takes place in Moscow, at the home of the Rostov family, and the battle front in the war with Napoleon. Their are the good people and the bad people. The good people being Natasha Rostov, a teenage girl who grows and matures throughout the book and Pierre Bezuhov, the son of Kirill Vladmirovitch Bezuhov, who speaks much of the novel expressing his purpose on earth. Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, the leader of the Bolkonsky family and a great war hero.
The bad people are: the protagonists themselves, as they torment themselves and Napoleon Bonaparte, (who, by some, is believed to be an impostor) the emperor and military leader of France. Bent on world domination. Secondary characters are the families of Bolkonsky and Kuragin, Anna Pavolvna, a famous St. Petersburg socialite and Kutuzof, the military leader of the Russian forces. The basic conflict is the effects of the changes to the protagonists through the Napoleonic wars. One important event occurs when Prince Andrei is wounded during the battle of Austerlitz, and he is given a chance to recollect on his wartime experiences.
Another important event occurs when Pierre is take prisoner by the French, (this is where he has the chance to look into his feelings and come to a peace with himself.) The climax of Pierres story occurs when he is held before a firing squad by the French. This is his climax because he is convinced that he is going to die, and after he is spared he becomes more caring and it is obvious that he will continue on this course until the end. The climax of Natashas life occurs when Andrei dies. It makes her reconsider the way she has lived her life, maturing her further from her state of mind as a seventeen year-old.
The climax for Andrei occurs when he is mortally wounded while attempting to protect Moscow from Napoleons forces. This is his climax because his outlook on life becomes so negative and morbid that he can only wait to die. It is obvious that he wont have it any other way. The story ends with the defeat and exile of Napoleon and the emergence of Russia as a world power, and the meeting of Natasha and Pierre after several years of absence.
War and peace is the best known of Leo Tolstoys books. The characters are very realistic and he can change from one topic to the next without changing anything. Most of all he can write to keep your attention (unlike I found with some other books *cough*Old Man and the Sea*cough*).