In the 1850s Tolstoy also began his literary career with an autobiographical trilogy: Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth. This, the second novel in the trilogy, tells of the early part of his life, when he was living happily with his family in the countryside. It also portrays his first love affair with Sonya and the tragic incident of his mother's death.
Again two carriages stood at the front door of the house at Petrovskoe. In one of them sat Mimi, the two girls, and their maid, with the bailiff, Jakoff, on the box, while in the other—a britchka—sat Woloda, myself, and our servant Vassili. Papa, who was to follow us to Moscow in a few days, was standing bareheaded on the entrance–steps. He made the sign of the cross at the windows of the carriages, and said: "Christ go with you! Good–bye." Jakoff and our coachman (for we had our own horses) lifted their caps in answer, and also made the sign of the cross.