Author: Ken Follett
What an outstanding piece of literature Edge of Eternity, the third book of the Century Trilogy, is! The first sentence piqued my curiosity and urged me to read on: “Rebecca Hoffmann was summoned by the secret police on a rainy Monday in 1961.” By the end of the first chapter, I was stunned by what happened to Rebecca and hopelessly hooked. I wanted to read every spare minute I could, on into the early morning hours. There is no better entertainment than a compelling story that pulls you out of your own life and into another time and place.
All the characters are convincingly real. In addition to his own personal experiences in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, Ken Follett went to extraordinary lengths in his research. For example, he interviewed first-person witnesses to the era, such as civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis who provided Follett with insight into the attitudes and actions of the nonviolent civil rights protestors, those unbendable men and women who refused to fight back even when beaten. He spoke with former White House intern Mimi Alford who revealed what it was like to have sex with President Kennedy. How can you get any more real than that?
The tome covers the stories of five families who are interconnected. These folks are of various national descent. They are the descendants of people first introduced in Follett’s previous books. The events span the 20th century, more specifically, the last 50 years. We read about the civil-rights movement, Viet Nam, Watergate, the Kennedys, the rise of British rock-and-roll, the hippies in San Francisco, and much more.
Normally, I’m not a fan of authors’ switching back and forth between two characters, but Follett has the genius and skill to make it work, even with five families. At the beginning of the book is a helpful list of the characters in the book, including the ones who are actual historical figures.
This is the first Ken Follett novel I’ve read, and I am grateful to the publisher for offering me an advance reading copy for review purposes. Now that I’ve discovered this master storyteller, I will be ordering books one and two. This book works as a stand-alone novel, so if you feel more inclined to read a setting in recent history first, there’s no harm in starting here. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t miss this riveting, educational, and epic story.