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The Pillars of the Earth

on February 21st, 2016 by admin

The title of this post is from a novel written by Welshman Ken Follett, a writer who was unknown to me.  I was on a website that reviewed this masterful piece of historical fiction.  Follett takes us back to 12th century England, a world far removed from our own.  The story centers on a fictional town of Kingsbridge where the building of magnificent cathedrals were the skyscrapers of medieval England.

The characters are individuals who pursue their values.  We meet Tom Builder, a mason honing his craft and dreaming of building a cathedral.  We see Tom steadfast in taking care of his family and dealing with the hardships of 12th century living.  There’s Ellen, a free spirited woman and free thinker who prefers life in the forest with her son Jack then submit to the theocratic dictates of the powerful Catholic Church.  Next we meet Aliena, a daughter of a deposed earl who comes to terms with losing her status by becoming a successful fleece trader through her tenacity and perseverance.  She fights to develop herself into a respected businesswoman.

Reading this story made me feel like I was right next to these characters.  Follett does an incredible job in plot structure and theme.  Every character behaves in accordance with their approach to life.  Other characters you will meet in The Pillars of the Earth are: Prior Phillip a monk who follows Catholic principles to the letter, yet is a decent honorable man.  He is determined to build his cathedral for Kingsbridge.  And then we meet William Hamleigh, an evil individual who will stop at nothing to obtain and keep power.  He ultimately leaves destruction in his wake.

I cannot recommend this book enough.  I look forward to reading his other works of fiction.

Bookish Babe

 

Tags: , , , , , | Posted in Fiction, History

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