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Friday, October 27, 2006

Ken Follett

Ken Follett
Code to Zero

He wakes up in the men's room at Union Station. He can not remember who he is or how he got there. One shocking look in the mirror tells him he is a bum however he can not believe it. Now he must find out who he is. Watch answer leads him in a different direction and we are intrigued to find more about what let to this situation.


"Jackdaws" is a thrilling historical novel set inWorld War II. Author Ken Follett tells the story through Major Felicity "Flick" Clairet of the Special Operations Executive. Her story is based on the real life of Pearl Witherington. The novel begins in Sainte Cecile, France where the Germans have taken over a château to use as their main telephone exchange. The resistance force fails miserably in their attack due to poor intelligence. Back in London, Flick puts together an all women cleaning team which succeeds in blowing up the château. This in turn allows D-Day to be a success. Unfortunately, out the original six women on the team, only two returned from the mission.
Through "Jackdaws," Follett is able to convey the unseen importance of women in the war effort. Flick and her team are a prime example of this. Through her snap decisions and ingenuity, Flick is able to outwit German Major Dieter Franck. Other members of her team are also cited for their bravery, including Jelly, an explosives expert. Despite her age of forty seven, she volunteers to be a member of the team conquering her fear of parachuting. In real life Pearl Witherington is given the civil MBE award after she is rejected for the Military Cross, given only to men. Saying she had done nothing civil, Witherington returned the award. It is women like Flick who have allowed other women to advance to where they are today.

The Pillars of the Earth

This amazing epic tale spans 12th Century England and illustrates the dynamic opposing forces of Church and State. For the duration of the novel, the royal force behind the King of England and the earls and knights that support him are contrasted with the Church's agenda. This illustrates how each force, in its own right, operated in the Middle Ages.

Tom Builder is a mason desperately trying to work enough to provide food for his family. He is building a home for the son of nobility but finds himself out of work when the son's fiancé refuses the marriage. Not only is he out of work, but is now at odds with this scorned nobleman. His family is left to wander the countryside looking for work. In the process, Tom's wife, Agnes, gives birth to their third child while laying on the cold ground of the forest. After she dies in childbirth, Tom doesn't think he can provide for the baby and elects to leave the child in the forest to die.

Phillip is a the prior of a small monastery tucked deep in the woods. His brother, Francis, shows up one day with a baby that he found in the woods. After a short time, Phillip goes to Kingsbridge, the main priory that oversees his small monastery. He winds up elected as Prior of Kingsbridge and in the process becomes the enemy of the area Bishop, sub-prior that thought he would become prior, and a local nobleman - the same scored lover that is angry with Tom Builder. Thus the lives of all of the characters are inexplicably intertwined and continue to affect each other throughout the duration of the century.

Arching over the entire story line is the desire to build the perfect cathedral that spans the generations; first on the part of Tom the builder, later on the part of his stepson Jack, and finally a contribution by Jack's daughter Sally. Follett has done a masterful job in explaining and illustrating the craftsmanship that goes into masonry, carpentry, and building the exquisite works of art that are cathedrals and churches built in the Middle Ages.

This novel weaves a story of the lives of numerous characters, one stronger and more intriguing than the next. It is a tale of love, heartbreak, violence, death, and political maneuvering. It is a story that will appeal to men and women, young and old. Ken Follett has written a breathtaking masterpiece that is impossible to be summarized accurately, but is so engrossing that as you read you will hope it will continue forever.

Paper Money

For all Ken Follet fans this is a must. In the foward of the first American release of his first novel, Follet admits that he tried too much in too little space and made things way too complicated. However, Paper Money allows us to se an established novelist when he was taking his first steps and see what lessons he learned.

If you like Follet, you will like this book. The same story teller is there. He just has learned to do it better and take his time. Avery short book with alot of story. Read it.

Storm Island

2.32 MB

Posted by Bookworm at 8:21 PM |


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