Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: Fall of Giants (Ken Follett)

This is one of those books that I picked up because I liked the way it looked.  Usually when I like the way a book looks I like the way it feels in my hands, this one was no different.  I can't help myself, I love the feel of a book in my hand, the weight of it, the feel of the cover as I run my hand over it, then as I open it the feel of the pages as I flip through it; and as with every book I have to put my nose in between the pages to smell it.  If you are at the library most books have a smell all their own, most of them I love, some of them just smell bad, but most of them I can just picture the last person reading that particular book.  I can't help myself, I love the feel and smell of a book.  And this one was no exception, it just felt good in my hand and it smelled too good to put down.  It has been a long time since I have found a book that I couldn't put down, I didn't even know what this book was about.  It was on sale, it was obviously meant to be, for Pete's sake I hadn't even been looking for a book to read.

I actually started reading it just because I wanted to feel it in my hand.  It took me a bit to get into the story, or should I say stories...

Amazon's description of this book:
"Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. 

A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits.…An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House.… A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy.…And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution.

From the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families—and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again.…"

I have never read a book set in this time period before that was based on fact.  I have read plenty set during WWII, but WWI has actually always been kind of a mystery to me.  Never really sure what it was all about, I know we covered it in History class in school but fairly certain there wasn't a lot of time spent on it.  
This book, written in the form of fiction but based on fact and real people, was hard to put down once I got into it.  Very well written, the stories blended together in a way that made me wonder how much was actually fiction and how much was nonfiction.  

SIDENOTE: One of the stories was written about a man in the 3rd Infantry Division (based here at Fort Stewart) and how 3ID became known as "The Rock of the Marne".  

All-in-all I loved the book, looked forward to turning each page to see what would happen next, found myself cheering for some of the characters and dreading others.  
I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a good historical fiction book, or even just someone who wants a good-read!  I will be checking out the next book in the trilogy Winter of the World and looking for the same flow of words and story.  

1 comment:

  1. I used to read Ken Follett, but stopped and went onto other things. Your review has sparked my interest again. Thanks Jessie. M