Rating: 4 out of 5.

The evening and the morning by ken follett, 926 pp

historical fiction, family saga

I am happy to share this space with my son, Brendan Daly, for his review of Ken Follett’s latest release in the Knightsbridge series, the prequel to Pillars of the Earth.

Brendan, 26 and a sales executive for a healthcare software company, has been an avid reader ever since he started reading around age five. He devoured the Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl books in elementary school and moved on to weightier titles by middle school and high school, including Pillars of the Earth. In fact, he referenced Pillars in his senior year school-wide speech and college application essay. His opening line and subsequent words wowed his high school administrators and college admission staff: “I’m not who you think I am…” As a stand-out, two-sport varsity athlete, he went on to smash the stereotype that he was a dumb jock. Instead, he quoted books he’d read and admitted he loved all the summer reading his school assigned. Now, as a young, working professional, he makes time to read both business and pleasure books, enjoying them as much as when he was in school, sitting on the bus on the way to and from school or a sports game, with his head in a book.

From Brendan:

While The Evening and the Morning was typical Ken Follett’s – can’t turn the pages fast enough and didn’t want to put it down even when reading 2 hours past bedtime – I found this one wasn’t as memorable as his previous work. After reading Pillars many many years ago, I still have the impression of how excellent of a book it was and can recall certain moments. With The Evening and The Morning, I was left with not as strong of an impression, but still satisfied as a reader in being transported back in time to the Dark Ages. 

Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly recommend reading this latest work by Ken Follett. His ability to tie all the pieces together as a prequel was elegant to say the least and left me excited to dive back into re-reading Pillars to pick up the story. The pace kept me moving through the years and left me cheering for Edgar to end up with the women he loved, while shedding a unique light on what life was like in the Dark Ages. The intricacy of the plot and character development ensures you understand each person’s motives. We’re set up to guess where the book is going based on what we’ve learned about characters and their political maneuvering for further power conquest. I’m looking forward to re-reading the trilogy now and already excited for his next work. 

Raised a Reader – Happy Mom

Related Blog Post: Reach Out and Read

Check out my top picks for Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Non-Fiction and Simple Pleasure Reading.

That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.

Jhumpa Lahiri

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