Like an early Christmas present, Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett is finally arriving in bookstores. Devoted readers of Follett's "Century Trilogy" have spent two years anticipating this final story. The series began in 2010 with Fall of Giants and was followed in 2012 with Winter of the World. Now with Edge of Eternity the stories of multiple families involved in historically changing events are finally complete.
Follett planned his books to cover families living in the United States, England, Germany, Wales and Russia. As the books have progressed these families and characters' lives have intertwined. Having characters from five different locales has also enabled the reader to have a front row seat on some of the most auspicious events in history.
Edge of Eternity covers the years of the 1960s thru the 1980s. Most of the focus is on the civil rights occurrences in the United States southern region. But we also get a look at the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fall of the Berlin wall and internal political struggles in the Soviet Union. Each event is given a personal touch by having the created characters give their views and reactions.
There are so many characters, so many historical events, so many personal stories that in the hands of a less talented author it would all be a jumble. Not so with Follett. He is able to create characters so vivid it is easy to keep them alive in our mind. He also makes their participation in these events perfectly logical and believable. It would have ruined the flow of the book if you felt they were pushed into being there.
When you reach the end of Edge of Eternity you have a feeling of completion, but you also have a feeling of disappointment. Disappointment that after three books and approximately three thousand pages of stories the "Century Trilogy" is at an end. During this journey you have come to understand and appreciate the different personalities Follett created. You might not have liked some of their actions or sided with some of their political views, still they were people you were comfortable with and whose stories you didn't want to end.
What is most impressive about this book and the two that preceded it, is the fact Follett never forgets he is telling a story. The historical events are the backdrop but the characters are the focal point. Good storytellers know this and Follett is an excellent one. We can only anxiously anticipate what he will present to us next.
Edge of Eternityis published by Dutton. It contains 1120 pages and sells for $36.00.
Jackie K Cooper