The Century Trilogy 3: Edge of Eternity – Ken Follett

Good morning guys!

What a sad day this is! I’ve finished this amazing series and I’ve learned so much! It’s been like a long and brilliant history class where I’ve been engrossed 98% of the time. I have to admit that sometimes it was a bit slow, haha, but when you take into account that the books are never shorter than 800 pages I find that remarkable! Maybe we can hope for a TV series from Netflix og HBO? The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:

When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene.

In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement – as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together.

Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin.

In Edge of Eternity we move into a historical period of which I know very little. I’m familiar with the major historical events that took place between 1961 and 1989, when this book takes place, but I never paid much interest in school as to how they came about, or truly happened for that matter. I know this a work of historical fiction with some truth to it in the grander scheme of things but I still felt that I learned quite a bit about several things that were previously unknown to me. Imagine that, I’ve been done with mandatory schooling for seven years and I’m still learning things I should have known from those times! I blame dull schoolbooks and a younger, lesser eager me to learn things that surrounded politics. If I were to point out something I wasn’t too fond of in this book was exactly that, that there were too much politics for my liking. However, I know that the Cold War mainly played out in the political theater so I know it’s the natural way to portray this story, and like I wrote above it was fine for 98% of the time, but sometimes it just became a bit too much. This, however, is also my only complaint about this book so I think that gives a clear picture of what the rest of the book was like! We’re not only introduced to politics in this story. We’re also introduced to the age of sex, drugs, and rock’n roll. When I read about how many of the musicians were living I feel that I don’t envy them! I have to be a massive pressure to always be ready to give it your all and I don’t believe that this pressure has subsided as the music has progressed into what it is today!

In this book we’re introduced to a wider set of characters than we’ve been introduced to in the previous books. Again Follet has moved the story down a generation so we still get to meet the characters we love and adore from the previous books. I find it hard to pick a favorite in this character gallery but I had to admire Rebecca Hoffmann for her great courage and determination through everything. I also admire George Jakes for everything he is able to get done despite having the cards stacked against him from birth. I think George’s is one of the more fascinating perspectives in the story and I get the sense that Follett has done a lot of research in order to get this perspective as wholesome and correct as possible. I believe that there has gone a lot of research into all the perspectives of this book but I latched onto George’s perspective in a different way than the others. In this final chapter of the Century Trilogy Follett keeps the diversity between the characters but the relationships portrays how the society is changing in a different way than in the previous books. I think this is a natural progression due to how the world changes within this novel but I sometimes missed a little of the emotional depth I experienced in the two other books. On the other hand, maybe I haven’t quite been able to grasp the emotional depth to the fullest due to lack of knowledge of the historical period?

In Edge of Eternity I think we really get to see the century in full through our characters. Grigori, whom we met in the first book and who partook in the early days of the Russian Revolution, is now and old man and he has witnessed so much! The same thing goes for Lady Maud and Ethel Leckwith who fought for women rights, made it into politics and experienced two horrible regimes see the light of day. In this book it really became clear to me how much happened in the world, and Europe, between 1900 and 2000. In many ways I believe this series shows what many people are calling The American Dream and how many aspects there can be to this dream. All our characters achieve great things in their lives. Some get to pursue the destiny they’ve wished for from birth whilst others have to pave their path as their lives moves on. It’s been such an incredible journey to follow all the different paths of the characters and see how they’ve grown from the first time I encountered them to the final pages of this series.

Edge of Eternity is a great ending to an amazing trilogy. It’s packed with historical events and drama. Our characters are in the middle of everything and we get to follow them on their different paths in life which are all affected by the wordily events that takes place. I’m sad that this series are over and I’ve really enjoyed spending time reading it. A series worthy of every historical fiction lover!

Published: 2014

Genre: Historical fiction

Theme: Politics, Cold War, music, family

– The Book Reader

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