Book Review: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
A sweeping look at four families and their lives in the years before, during and after the first World War and Russian Revolution – the Williams family, coal miners from Aberowen, South Wales; the Fitzherbert family, aristocrats from England; the Von Ulrich family, diplomats from Germany; and the Peshkov family, Russian peasants. We follow the sometimes intertwined lives of these four families and their friends, lovers and enemies – some stories dramatic, some quiet but building up to a surprising conclusion – over the course of thirteen years (1911 to 1924). There’s no way to really give you an adequate overview of the storylines since they are so large and detailed, but for me, the ones I followed with the most interest were the love stories. The centerpiece has to be the love story between Maud Fitzherbert and Walter Von Ulrich, English and German respectively, and thus separated by the war. I really was rooting for them, and every scene where Walter was fighting or in danger made me cringe with worry and mentally shout DON’T GET SHOT WALTER!!
Follett is such a great storyteller, and he really has a knack for fleshing out his characters in a way that makes them real, with quirks, ideals and flaws. By the end of the book, you know these people so well that you feel like they are members of your own family.
A great book for lovers of historical fiction, and even though it’s nearly 1,000 pages it will keep you engrossed and intrigued to the very end. This book is the first in the Century Trilogy, so we can look forward to more stories about these families in the future.
I give this book 4.5 STACKS!
See you in the STACKS,
Nancy – who is a sucker for a good romance!