Reading Wednesday

Book Review Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Reading Wednesday

Location: Reading Wednesday

(Note – following the tragic fire yesterday at the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, I am compelled to share this blog again.  Ken Follett’s Book Pillars of the Earth, although based in England, is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read, focused on cathedral building in the Middle Ages. This brilliant story is what I thought of all day yesterday as Notre Dame burned – thinking about the people who created this and other majestic structural wonders during the  period.

Today I mourn the loss of historic structure and art while saluting those humans whose perseverance created it all. Who deserve our thanks and reverence.  We can be confident it will rise again.)

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

A Saga.  A Gripping historical novel from contemporary writer Ken Follett.  Published in 1989, how is it that I have waited so long to read this masterpiece?  I absolutely love The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

As a full time traveler, I have been witness to some of the most remarkable cathedrals in the world.  And I have often felt flabbergasted at the thought of how these monstrous but beautiful buildings could possibly been constructed in an age with no machinery, electricity, power or technology.  These monuments to God are truly a wonder.

Little did I know all this time that Ken Follett had in the 1970’s felt the same, and over a decade of time he wrote his brilliant masterpiece The Pillars of the Earth.  I am so glad I found this book.  My eyes have been opened and my appreciation will be far greater still, when next I stand in front of one of these masterpiece architectural wonders.

The Pillars of the Earth is set in 12th century England, a time of anarchy and war, brutal famine and poverty, royal power and catholic corruption.  The story follows a memorable cast of characters who you grow to love as they struggle in their own existence, as well as a brutal cast of characters – power hungry and evil, who you despise.  Follett’s ability to bring together this believable group of people, set against real historical events and characters in a time of medieval anarchy is a masterful work of fiction.  The author builds the story alongside the building of the magnificent Kingsbrige Cathedral, despite fire and pillaging, death and destruction, backstabbing and power grabbing at every corner.

The Pillars of the Earth is ambitious to say the least.  Masterful at its best.  And written with compassion for the everyday people of the time – just trying to survive in a world where any day could bring disaster.

Spectacular classical reading at its best. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Five stars for The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Read what Wikipedia has to say about Pillars of the Earth here.

Read last week’s review of The Keeper of Lost Things.

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  • Reply Coreen Haydock

    You know it is the first of a series don’t you? Also have you ever read any of Edward Rutherford’s books? Probably. Bunch of them all historical saga – kinda in the style of Michener

    January 2, 2019 at 8:24 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Have not read Rutherford. Might take a look. Thanks.

      January 4, 2019 at 1:45 pm
  • Reply Lisa Tompkins

    Loved this book . . . one of my top reads ever!

    January 2, 2019 at 12:23 pm
  • Reply Natalie Fujita

    don’t know if you ever need another book recommendation on your list, but here’s one anyway. “The Wind is not a River” by Brian Payton. It’s a beautiful written love & war story. A quick read, & holds your attention. Based of facts; takes place in the Aleutian Islands at the beginning of WWII. Battles that were covered up….

    January 3, 2019 at 11:50 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thanks Natalie. I have an ongoing list and I will add it!!!

      January 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm
  • Reply nancy rimel

    This is a wonderful book-I agree. Read Follett’s three books-referred to as The Century Trilogy. He basically writes of the 20th century. It is fantastic…

    January 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Yes I may tackle another one. It was epic.

      January 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm

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