Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy

Ken Follett. Dutton, $36 (960p) ISBN 978-0-525-95292-3
This second installment of Follett’s epic Century trilogy is just as potent, engrossing, and prolix as the opening opus, Fall of Giants. Continuing the histrionics of the five families introduced in Fall, this masterfully conceived novel picks up in 1933 as Carla von Ulrich, 11, feels the horror of Nazi encroachment in Germany and proves a staunch resister, while her older brother, Erik, becomes an infatuated soldier. Elsewhere, English student Lloyd Williams aggressively resists the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Later, wealthy American brothers Chuck (a closeted homosexual) and Woody Dewar head to the South Seas to fight the good fight as socialite Daisy Peshkov, Woody’s first love, is swept up with Lloyd and the drama of war. Rife with plot lines, interpersonal intrigue, sweeping historical flourishes, and an authentic and compelling cast, this is a tale of dynamic characters struggling to survive during one of the world’s darkest periods. While some may find Follett’s verbosity daunting, others will applaud his dedication and ability to keep so many plots spinning while delivering a story that educates, entertains, and will leave fans eagerly awaiting the trilogy’s crowning capstone. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 09/18/2012
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