This is the first novel I’ve read by Ken Follett. It’s an epic tale of the 20th century covering World War I and the Russian Revolution. The book takes the stories of several different families from across the globe and intertwines them, sharing their viewpoints and stories of life at war. The stories are woven together to create a great tapestry of a novel. The character development is such that whomever you’re reading about at the time, you see things from his or her point of view and you understand why they feel the way they do. I am ashamed to admit that I do not know whether or not events in the book are historically accurate. I do know that there is a mixture of fictional characters with actual characters from history, which makes the tale more plausible. It brings to life a time in history that can be confusing when read in a textbook, so kudos to the author for that. It does a good job of making sense of the reasons behind the countries going to war, and how each country involved felt. The big bad antagonist of the text is rightly war itself.
Would I let my middle-schooler read it? No. While it’s in the context of war, etc., there is both profanity and mature content (not so much that it distracts from the novel, but it’s still there).
I believe this is the first in a series of books on the 20th century. I would definitely be interested in reading more of Follett’s works in this trilogy. 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads.