October 16, 2013
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
This is my third Ken Follett novel, and I've come to enjoy his writing style, attention to historical detail and character development. This book is well researched. It does cover a great deal of history and has a large cast of characters. However, even with such a large cast of characters, I never had the problem of forgetting someone or becoming lost in one of the many subplots.
Earl Fitzherbert's character begins the story as a product of his time. He is a proper British gentleman, and resists the idea of social reform. Aside from his infidelity, he really isn't an unpleasant character. During the war, he fights bravely and with honor. However, as the novel goes on...Fitzherbert's character changes. He becomes more of a villain and his only interest is self preservation.
Maud Fitzherbert and Ethel Williams had a good thing going for them. I wish their characters had been able to reconcile their differences. I feel as if Follett wanted the readers to side with Ethel - the hard working single mothe, vs. Maud - the sister of a wealthy Earl.
In order to include real historical events, some of the happenstance meetings between characters are a bit contrived.
The book did end with a cliff hanger and I'm looking forward to diving into the second book of this series.