Edge of Eternity is the 3rd and last volume of the Ken Follet’s Century Trilogy. I have already shared here my review of the 2nd volume and I was longing to get to the end.
This was finally made possible by the opening in Douala of the well-known shop “FNAC” where i was able to find English and French version of the book. I happily chose to read the roughly 1000 pages in English, and once more dived into the magic history world of Mr. Ken Follet.
As a reminder, the Century Trilogy is an epic work which goes through all the 20th Century, from World War I to World War II, up to the election of Barack Obama. It goes through the lives and destinies of different families based in Russia, England, Germany, and United States, while also getting them to interact with real historical figures such as J. Edgar Hoover, Staline, or Hitler just to name those.
The 3rd volume of the trilogy starts in 1961 and ends in 2008. It tells the story of several characters which we will all be involved in the great historical events of this period: civil rights movement, Cold War, 1968, etc.
In this book, I met some stunning characters, Maria Summers, long-time lover to JF Kennedy, Dave Williams, and his group the Plum Nellies, a nice “copy” to the Beatles, or Carla Hoffman, a West German politician with guts and might. In the third volume, we also learn more about some old characters such as Grigori Peshkov, a Russian military or Ethel Williams, an inspiring woman character, born as a maid in England but which will die as a member of the Chamber of Lords (what an achievement).
On top of telling beautiful stories, Ken Follet gives us some life lessons especially in this third volume so well named the “Edge of Eternity”. Indeed, we often feel, we have all the time to achieve what we want in life. Then we wake up old and realize we did nothing or that we kept on making a fuss about nothing. On the other hand, we also tend to believe that achieving great things can be difficult or impossible while it all starts with our internal will. Reading the “Edge of Eternity” and more generally the full trilogy, I have never felt so positive that “Yes we (truly) Can”. There is no barrier to our dreams, the only barrier is us.
The 20th century has been one of great turmoil and suffering for the world. It has been one of great challenges for the world citizens. It demanded to be courageous, to take stands. I won’t say the 21st century is less challenging, but still nothing can compare to World War I and II. Nothing can compare with taking risks to defend the rights of Black People. Nothing can compare to being at the brink of a nuclear War and doing the best on both sides to avoid it. Nothing can compare to fighting to have the right to love someone from a different race than yours. Nothing can compare to fighting as a woman, to have the right to vote.
Definitely, the 20th century has been one of great challenges, and reading the “Edge of Eternity” just as the other volumes of the trilogy, I have been reminded by Mr. Ken Follet on how easily we take everything for granted nowadays. Our ancestors fought hard for this world of yours to be standing and we should be grateful for that and strive for unity rather than pushing ourselves to more violence and negativity, as it tends to be the rule in the 21st century.
Reading the “Edge of Eternity”, I learnt the real meaning of the world “gratitude”. Could we imagine how tough it was for entire families to be separated during years because of a Wall (the Berlin Wall), for parents to live afar from their children, with no hope of seeing them again. Could we imagine what it felt like working in a camp in Siberia? We take our lives as granted.
More generally, and as usual with Mr. Ken Follet, reading the “Edge of Eternity” was an occasion for the history fan that I am to get back into more details of world history. It was a perfect escape. Thanks to Mr. Follet for the true gift, he has in telling beautiful and vivid stories. I am everything but disappointed. In fact, I am happy.
In fact, I will soon be giving myself the pleasure to read back the Three Tomes of the Century Trilogy. Life is all about #simplepleasures isn’t it?
I hope I have been able to share some enthusiasm with you and get you to run for discovery of the “Edge of Eternity” and other books from Mr. Follet. If you have already read the book, please share your thoughts.