I don’t know how Ken Follett does it. All of his books are so very long and dense and filled with story and history and information and characters and other stuff I can’t think of. He’s exhausting. And exhaustive. I wonder what his family is like. I mean, really. What would dinner conversation be like with this guy? He knows everything about medieval Europe and cathedral building, and now he’s got most of Western Civ covered with the Century Trilogy. Plus he writes all those really good spy novels.
This is the third book in the Century Trilogy, which started back before WWI and the Russian Revolution, tracing several families through the 20th Century.
The story opens on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall, with the Franck family. They’ve mainly survived WWII, and now they’re trying to survive the cold war. You can’t trust anyone, maybe not even your own family. But is it safer to stay, and hope for a reprieve; or is the better choice to escape to the West and take your chances?
The Dvorkins are even further behind the Iron Curtain in Russia, and not everyone is toeing the party line. The Brits and the Americans are having their troubles as well, although maybe not quite as dire as the folks to the East. The stories take us through the Cold War, the Space Race, the Civil Rights movement, the British Invasion, Watergate, and a number of assassinations. Follett can cover some ground.
I’m sure I’ll end up going back and re-reading this series, much as I have done with other Follett books. Exhausting, but also entertaining and informative.