Author(s): Steven Conte
In the first year of the doomed German invasion of Russia in WWII, a German military doctor, Paul Bauer, is assigned to establish a field hospital at Yasnaya Polyana - the former grand estate of Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of the classic War and Peace. There he encounters a hostile aristocratic Russian woman, Katerina Trusbetzkaya, a writer who has been left in charge of the estate. But even as a tentative friendship develops between them, Bauer's hostile and arrogant commanding officer, Julius Metz, starts becoming steadily more preoccupied and unhinged as the war turns against the Germans. Over the course of six weeks, in the terrible winter of 1941, everything starts to unravel ... From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author, Steven Conte, The Tolstoy Estate is ambitious, accomplished and astonishingly good: an engrossing, intense and compelling exploration of the horror and brutality of conflict, and the moral, emotional, physical and intellectual limits that people reach in war time. It is also a poignant, bittersweet love story - and, most movingly, a novel that explores the notion that literature can still be a potent force for good in our world.