Winter of the World, the second book in the Century Trilogy, follows the five families from Fall of Giants through WWII and the start of the Cold War. The mix of personal stories and history makes for a terrific read.
The emotional toll on the families – American, English, Welsh, German, and Russian – brings an immediacy to the action. Their stories also bring the complexities of loyalty and duty into clear view as these family members struggle with how to be a good citizen while also supporting politics that don’t necessarily conform with their own values.
Overall there is the menace of Fascism throughout Europe and the brutal rule of Stalin, a leader who will not believe himself to be wrong. The details bring this brutality alive in unexpected ways, and at unexpected moments.
The writing is excellent. In fact, Follett’s description of the bombing of Pearl Harbor is one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read. Of anything.
Critical Reception: Janet Maslin of The New York Times Book Review was not all that impressed with Winter of the World. (See for yourself.) Unrepentant fan-of-Follett that I am, I can’t wait to start Edge of Eternity.
I rate this book 5/5.
Get your copy here: Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy