Book Review: Winter of the World


Winter of the World

Ken Follett

ReviewIcon1Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.

Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come.

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.


This is the second book in a historical trilogy by Mr. Follett.  I liked it as well as the first book.  These books are not for the faint-hearted!  They are long, and tend to take a little more “thinking time” when reading through than other books, if that makes sense.   You have to think – about the characters, the connections, the politics.  The author again does a great job of weaving all the independent stories together as one – entwining the lives of all the characters a little too well when it comes to what’s plausible.  It works for this story, though, and it’s fun to see how the 2nd generation of characters carries on the story from the first book.  Since it’s a war book, and especially since it takes place during the second world war, it’s not exactly all a bed of roses.  There are some pretty graphic accounts of horrible things that sadly were not far from the truth, even though this is a work of fiction.

ReviewIcon64 of 5 stars.



Would I recommend it to my BFF?  Yes.
Would I recommend it to my 13 year old?  No, due to language, the graphic nature of some of the scenes ,and general disturbing wartime content.


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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.

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