I have just finished reading Ken Follett’s book Winter of the World. I latched onto his books when a fellow quilter mentioned him and I found I loved reading his vast library of stories of people through the centuries and in many places, tying in to the current events of the era. What was most interesting in this novel, was that the era involved was those years in which I was growing up. It starts the year I was born…
But as the book progresses into the lives of the characters in the United States and the world, I too, was becoming more aware of events around the world. It was interesting to read of the attitudes of the Americans, the English, the Germans and the Russians as the world was entering world war II.
In my case, the war sent my dad into the navy, one aunt into the Red Cross in England, another into the SPARS, a nanny into the WACs…. I was seeing members of my family leaving what had been my quiet little world and entering into the world wide scene. For me it meant a move in the middle of the school year to Pennsylvania. I know now how my parents worked to have a peaceful life during those years. My dad was not sent overseas, but came home every night from his job at the navy yard. The school we attended was a small Quaker school.
The novel tells a story of other families whose lives were far more disrupted than mine; members really fighting in combat, shortages of food and gas, people whose lives were truly disrupted.
It is interesting to read in retrospect the lives other people were enduring as I was growing up. I was never a fan of history, but reading it as fiction makes it more interesting to me.
Having just visited places around the Baltic, I learned what Estonia endured during communist times and returned to be a part of a whole Germany. I saw the rebuilding of what had been destroyed in Russia, great palaces and yet plain housing for the people.
The book ends with the atomic bomb but there is to be a third volume in the trilogy. This will be the years as I grew up, went to college, raised a family. It will be interesting to see how Ken Follett portrays this country, England, Russia, Germany and other countries which have become important in more recent times.