Nov 19, 07
Read in October, 2007
This has been highly recommended from a few different people. A quarter into it and I'm having a blast. Set in the 1100's, it follows a family through the Medieval world in search of work and the ultimate hope for the father, Tom, to build a Cathedral. Really great so far..
Wow. Awesome fiction. Follet paints a rich picture of a Medieval world with its perceptions of good, evil, the Church, social classes, sexuality to name a few. He writes from an omniscient point of view and captures the mind and spirit of everyone from a young boy, to the confident daughter of a Baron, to the Prior of Kingsbridge Abbey to the wicked and disgusting Lord of Hamleigh. I found it rather striking to be in so many minds. The story is riveting and fascinating not only from a historical perspective, but from a relational and dramatic perspective as well.
I should note that the book received some stark criticism and was banned for awhile. Some of the descriptions of sexuality are quite thorough. My sense of this was that he was trying to ask the question of how did people even perceive sexuality in the 1100's without the culture of pictures, media, and politics that surrounds it today. I don't want to say too much if you want to read the book. I think you can get more details on Wiki if you want to know more before reading it.
Still, I consider it an incredible book and an excellent read.