|Lily James as the charming Natasha Rostova|
Credit: BBC / Mitch Jenkins
Monday, 1 February 2016
I am immersed in what I hope will be the final edit of my second novel. At this point in the process, I am trying to look at the 'arc' of the story, while also teasing out some of the underlying themes. It's structural work, quite different from the nitty-gritty detail which has occupied me up until now. The question I keep pondering is what my central character - a young wife stuck in a dysfunctional marriage - has learnt about herself over the course of the novel.
Last night, watching the latest instalment of the BBC's excellent War and Peace series, I witnessed the sad decline of the charismatic Natasha, as she struggles to reconcile her sexuality - her lapse in judgement regarding Anatole - with a greater sense of purpose. Within the confines of a novel, characters are usually obliged to travel in some metaphorical sense, during which journey they undergo a kind of moral or spiritual transformation. Tolstoy's War and Peace is no exception.