From reading some of the other reviews, I can see that many people did not enjoy this novel as much as its predecessor. I really liked "Pillars of the...moreFrom reading some of the other reviews, I can see that many people did not enjoy this novel as much as its predecessor. I really liked "Pillars of the Earth," however surprisingly, I liked this one even more. On the one hand I can see the point that people make about it, it does contain many of the same plot elements of the first book. However, I did not see this as a negative factor. On the contrary, to me, it seemed more like the characters were echoing their ancestors. I liked the effect--it spoke to the continuity of history.
I also got really involved with the characters. Some of them I adored, especially Gwenda, and others vexed me, but regardless I found myself needing to know what was going to happen to them. To me that is what makes Follett's books such a pleasure to read, sure they have small errors and inconsistencies, but those are by far outweighed by the wonderful stories and characters he creates.
In my opinion this one is worth the read, I couldn't put it down. Also as a side note, I don't think that reading the first book is necessary to enjoy this one, but I will say that it definitely added positively to my experience. (less)
I really wanted to love this book. Truth is, I think I'm too old for it. I gave it a higher rating because I think if I was a teenager, I would love i...moreI really wanted to love this book. Truth is, I think I'm too old for it. I gave it a higher rating because I think if I was a teenager, I would love it. I wanted a quick, mindless read, and I quite like the show so I gave it a whirl. I was a little disappointed, but like I said, that's probably my age talking. I probably won't read the next one.(less)
This book has been on my "to-read" list for years. I am so glad to finally be able to cross it off. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I became quite attac...moreThis book has been on my "to-read" list for years. I am so glad to finally be able to cross it off. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I became quite attached to the characters, and wanted to know what was going to happen to them. Although I have to admit that I did skim over many of the parts that only discussed cathedral building. I enjoyed the book because none of the characters are perfect, they all have flaws. Furthermore, up to his usual standard, Follett creates an intriguing plot that draws you in almost instantly.
I will say however that my favourite part of the book remains the prologue. It had a beautiful, haunting quality, that for some reason wasn't present in the rest of the book. Nonetheless, it was still an incredible story.
There were a few things that brought it down a couple of pegs in my eyes. First was the fact that there were many small errors in the story, such as mixed-up ages. Now I know it's not really a big deal, but I kept thinking, "can't you remember how old your own characters are?" The ending of the book is the other part that I'm not fond of. I won't go into specifics, because I don't feel like ruining it for others, but basically, a whole new plot line is tacked on in the last 40 or so pages, and that always irritates me in books. Why not finish what you started, rather than adding more? Also, it connects many of the characters to a huge historical event--different from the one that binds the whole story together. I just find it really hard to believe that this group of characters were all involved in not one--but two of the greatest events of the century.
I adored this book! From the moment I started it to the moment I finished it, I was enthralled. McKay's writing made me feel as if I too lived in Scot...moreI adored this book! From the moment I started it to the moment I finished it, I was enthralled. McKay's writing made me feel as if I too lived in Scots Bay and that I was hearing about the happenings of the book at one of the Wednesday night meetings of the OKS. It has been a long time since I have read something that seemed so incredibly real. I know that the subject matter may not be everyone's cup of tea, but to those who are interested, it provides a window into aspects of the lives of women that are not often discussed with such honesty, and care.
McKay certainly has a knack for characterization. Dora was wonderful of course, and along with others such as Miss B, and Bertine, it was nearly impossible for me to put it down. By the end of the book, I really felt like I knew the characters, as if, they had allowed me the privilege of traveling through their lives with them for a while. To me, that is a wonderful feeling, and something that truly makes me fall in love with a book.
Even if you're a little skeptical, I think this is one book that is definitely worth the benefit of the doubt. :)(less)