Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
The first in a trilogy, Fall of Giants is an epic, sweeping saga of the lives of five families, how the intertwine with each other and how the drama of World War I and various political struggles shape their lives.
When I first start reading a book, if I'm not caught up by the characters and/or story, I generally pay closer attention to the writing and can be very critical. The only thing I noticed about this book in the first hundred pages or so was that I thought it could be better written. That said once I the characters and story grabbed my imagination, I no longer cared and grabbed for this book every spare moment I had.
Follett's writing is better suited for the history, political and war aspects of this book. The romance felt thrown in almost as an afterthought to appeal to more female readers. I would have enjoyed more depth of story and character development in the other parts of the book instead of the contrived, obvious romances.
All that said, I did enjoy this book for the historical fiction as I always enjoy a book that is imaginative as well as educational. What I liked most about this book is the strong women characters who fought for women's suffrage in England. Who tore down stereotypes every chance they got.
Something I found intriguing is that in a book about World War I, Follett completely left out the French. Now if that was because he's not such a fan of the French or he felt he had enough families to cover or he felt the French didn't have a strong enough story for the next two books, I don't know. It's just something I found strange.
Overall a very enjoyable read.
Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.
Next month - Cannery Row by John Steinbeck