Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Fall of Giants: In case you want more of Downton Abbey

Ken Follett is simply the best among historical fiction writers, a rock star in the literary world of little nerds like me.

After reading his monolithic works of the Kingsbridge series- “Pillars of the Earth” and “World Without End” (the third book has come out, A Column of Fire), I embarked on another journey as I began to read the first of the Century Trilogy, “Fall of Giants”.

A book and tea time….

It is the early 20th century. Somewhere in England, Earl Fitzherbert had a fling with his smart housekeeper who has dreams of rising above her station. Lady Maud, a suffragette, fights for women’s right to vote while keeping a secret affair with a diplomat who has a secret of his own. Billy, a working class miner grows up to know more about faith and about the truths of their society and started questioning the authority of the establishment. Somewhere in Russia, two brothers struggle to earn their wages and save money to buy their ticket to the land of the free, the United States of America. Somewhere in America, Gus Dewar prepares himself for a visit to the Old Continent while working for the US President.
It all seemed that the pristine lives of the upper-class will remain in power and grace, and it seemed that lives of the working-class were condemned to perpetual struggle to fight and work for some comfort and peace. They didn’t realize that the balance of power and the boundaries of all social classes will be shattered with the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, that will eventually throw the whole world into war.

Follett gives us interesting details and vivid imagery of people’s lives in the early 1900’s, and how the war has changed everything and everyone. It is the most interesting history book I’ve read, and it is the most heart-endearing and powerfully dramatic historical fiction I’ve ever loved so far.

Forget those Netflix series. Read this book. You will learn history, fall in love, shed a tear, be moved to love your rights and freedom, and get smarter.

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