The Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett

I cannot sing the praises of Ken Follett more than he is one of the best authors in the modern age. I began his trilogy about a year or so ago and his novels are quite long (this one is 1599 pages on my Nook) so it takes a long while to get through them. However, these are well-worth the time investments to pick them up.

The Trilogy starts in the early 20th Century with families in Russia, German, Britain, and the US. Follett beautifully tracks the interaction of these four families through World War I, the high tension period between WWI and WWII, then through WWII and into the Cold War. I think the most eloquent part of these three novels are the characters’ interactions with key people in history who made the decision to go to war or who were assassinated. It provides a true fictional representation that these individuals once lived, interacted with people, and really were human.

The Edge of Eternity begins after WWII in the late fifties/early sixties. It tracks President Kennedy’s terms in office to his assassination. During this same time Follett discusses the impacts that race relations had on the Segregation movement. Half of the characters in this novel are black, and that, while important and adds an interesting perspective to the novel, neither detracts nor adds and excessive amount to the plot. What did add was the increased number of characters. All of the main characters in the first book Fall of Giants got married, had children, who also had children. Those individuals also had affairs and illegitimate children which also added to the number of characters. This allowed for Follett to expand the plot (even though it did get confusing at times).

Probably my most favorite aspect of the novel were the love stories of the characters. With Germany separated into two parts, it was really hard to read about Walli separated from Karolin, and the birth of their daughter who Walli could not see since he could never return to East Germany since he killed a German officer. Additionally, Russia was an exceptionally challenging place to live and love in the Kremlin. Dimka and Natalya’s love story was also one that I really enjoyed for I didn’t know anything about the Kremlin’s underlings.

In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this series and if you think about the amount of time, all of the events, as well as making up individuals to fit into these lives is truly a talent of Follett’s. His imagination is incredible and I will miss learning from him. But hey, he has a ton of other books out there. He seems to write faster than I can read. haha. So I’d suggest to go out there and pick up any of his work, especially starting this trilogy. It’s historical, with fiction, with romance, bloody at times, and discusses the political dealing of international relations which is a challenge. I really liked it and I think you would too!

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