Sunday, April 6, 2014

Novel Of The Week - Winter Of The World by Ken Follett

                             

And finally the second chapter of "Century Trilogy", Winter Of The World by Ken Follett is here!!!
I wanted to dedicate all my time and attentions to this novel so I started reading it almost a year after I finished Fall of Giants, but I was able to finish it just a few weeks ago due to my University schedule and its length.

Anyway, here's the story:

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Characters from the first book grown up and they all had children...In fact, they are the real protagonists of this story. It starts in 1933 and follows the lives of 5 families during the rise of fascism and all World War II.

Lev had two children: Daisy, from his wife Olga, and Greg from his lover Magda. The two knoweach other's existence and happens that they meet during social events. Daisy desperately wants to be accepted by Buffalo's high society, regardless her father's reputations isn't the best recommendation, while Greg is more than happy to fly under the radar.

After beeing rejected from all the important family of the city, Daisy flies over UK in an attempt to get a successful marriage with an aristocrat. She ends up meeting Boy Fitzherbert, son and heir of the Earl Teddy Fitzherbert, a very carismatic and rich youg boy. Daisy will also meet Lyod Williams, son of former employee at Fitzherbert house Ethel Williams and stepson of her husband, Bernie. Ethel now is member of parliament and also Lyod has political aspirations.

In the continental Europe, we meet Carla and Erik von Ulrich, two German brothers, daughter and son of Maud and Walter von Ulrich. Erick is older than Carla and joined the Hitler Youth, even if both his parents are Social Democrats. Carla is a very empathic, thoughtful and wise young girl instead.
She always had a crush on Werner Franck, brother of her best friend Frieda.
Werner was a schoolmate of Vladimir "Volodja" Peskov, another protagonist. He will became a important figure during the war, recruiting spies among the anti-Nazi Germans, includin Werner.

Greg, Loyd and Volodja will meet each other several times and also will meet the last (not least) protagonist: Woodrow "Woody" Dewar, son of senator Gus Dewar and his wife Rose, political journalist. Woody's passionate about politics and photography and will be a central figure during pre-war/during war/after war negotiations, along with his father and Greg.

If you think that, just because they're the protagonists, nothing bad will happen to them, you're terribly wrong! They all will have their joys and sorrows, but  even in the darkest hours they'll not stop fighting for a better future.
There are not just battlefields and destroyed cities, but also espionage, the Spain War, the beginning of what's nowadays is known as the UN and we'll meet historical characters like Winston Churchill,  Iosif Stalin, Roosevelt and some of the  Manhattan Project' scientists.

I've nothing to add, except that Winter of the World is an extraordinary novel, I did not think it was possible it to be even more amazing than "Fall of Giants" and yet, it is!

My vote : 10/10

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