Edge of Eternity Hardback
by Ken Follett
Part of the The Century Trilogy series
As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War.
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. From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of Sixties London, Ken Follett's Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known. *Includes family tree*
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 1024 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 16/09/2014
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780230710160
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Review by john257hopper
This is the final volume of the author's trilogy dealing with the lives and interactions with great events of a number of families in the US, the USSR, Germany and Britain (though scenes set in this country are few and far between and easily the least dramatic episodes in the narrative). The first half of the book is full of dramatic and tense events and passages: the struggle in the US for civil rights for African Americans against the forces of brutal authoritarianism and society's prejudices; the Cuban missile crisis where the world came closer than before or since to nuclear armageddon; and daring escapes over the Berlin wall, facing the merciless ruthlessness of the border guards who shot escapees on sight. The second half of the book, or at least the passages after about the early to mid 1970s, lacked the impact of the early parts for me, though the final chapters on the dramatic events of 1989 in Eastern Europe were gripping. There is also a strong thread of music making throughout the narrative. As it covered the period 1961 to 1989, the novel might almost have been called "Wall to Wall" - Edge of Eternity seems a rather vacuous title. A great read, and I think this Century trilogy is Follett's best work, surpassing Pillars of the Earth.