Two friends have told me lately that they are having trouble sleeping because Ken Follett’s new book, Winter of the World is keeping them up. Follett is definitely a master writer of epic historical fiction. Today though, I’m not going to talk about his newest bestseller because that is #2 in his Century Trilogy. I’m focusing on Book 1 because you would definitely want to read book 1, Fall of Giants, first.
The trilogy follows the lives of five interrelated families from the turn of the twentieth century, through to end of World War I. The five main characters come from Wales, England, Germany, Russia, and the United States. It’s through these characters that we learn the human stories behind the events that shaped our world, like the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the suffrage movement, and the working conditions that spawned the union movement. A Washington Post reporter said of this novel, “well-researched, beautifully detailed with a terrifically compelling plot”. That sums it up nicely. This story reminds us that the events of history are rarely as black and white as we once thought.
Book 2 continues where Book 1 leaves off, and follows the lives of the next generation through World War II.