On occasion, my mom gives me books that she has read already. She tends to prefer historical fiction, while I do not. Some of the time, I just donate the historical fiction books to the library (shh! Don’t tell her). Other times, if it looks interesting enough, I will give them a try.
From her last bequeathal of books, she gave me the second and third book of the Century trilogy by Ken Follett. However, she didn’t give me the first book. WTF? Where is the first book? I can’t very well start a trilogy on book TWO. Maybe you can, but I can’t.
I had heard good things about the trilogy, and even though each book is monster huge, I decided to give it a go. I got book 1, Fall of Giants, from the library. It started out with a kid in a mine, and I was like, oh boy, snoozefest, here I come. But then there was some interesting action in the mine. Then we got some Downton Abbey type stuff with an Earl having a torrid affair with the housekeeper. OK, I’m interested. Although there is a large central group of characters, each of their introductions made me want to learn more about them.
The trilogy follows two English families (the Earl’s and the housekeeper’s), Russian brothers, a German man, an American man and a few other minor players. Their stories intertwine frequently, especially during the war. Some know each other, some happen upon each other by coincidence.
Just when this book would start to bore me with the historical stuff, they’d throw in a love scene to keep me going. There was a lot of World War I action that I’ll be honest, wasn’t all that interesting to me. I still read it, but like I said, history ain’t my thing. Right or wrong, that’s how it is for me.
The book moves at a fast pace, and perhaps a decade or so passed in this first 985-page installment. I will definitely check out the second and third books now that I have the first one down.