On Maria and the Death of Nikolai Bolkonsky in War and Peace

Throughout Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace,┬áthe great Bolkonsky household is a home bereft of affection and the caresses of love for which perhaps every child and every parent longs. The father, Nikolai Bolkonsky, proud, intelligent, eccentric, and cynical, has tormented his daughter by his schedule, his demands, his scoffing at her faith and manners. But … Continue reading On Maria and the Death of Nikolai Bolkonsky in War and Peace

Anne with an ‘E’, or a Bridge too Far

Anne Shirley of Green Gables is a tremendously challenging character for me understand. Her use of words like ‘thrilly’, ‘romantical’, ‘tragical’, her naming of flowers and trees and avenues (‘the lake of shining waters’), her chatter and forgetfulness, all delight and frighten me. One of the difficulties I have is understanding whether or not she … Continue reading Anne with an ‘E’, or a Bridge too Far

The Eyes of God

Having seen the 1985 Anne of Green Gables mini series, I knew of Matthew Cuthbert’s death. The author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, certainly prepares her readers by way of hints and foreshadowing, so that it is no great surprise. Yet it remains a solemn and sad chapter. It is nearly impossible for readers or for Anne … Continue reading The Eyes of God