One evening while accompanying Victor on a run to Costco to pick up dog food I wandered, as I usually do, over towards their book area. My eyes caught sight of a lovely book cover - I tend to be attracted to the illuminated style, and the cover completely drew me in. I read the book's description and was completely hooked on the idea that I must take it home and crack the cover immediately. This heavy tome was actually the second of the series, I was later to learn, but no matter - it had me in its grasp. The book in question was Ken Follett's World Without End. I was mildly familiar with the name, having worked in bookstores at various periods of my life, and associated it with espionage and not period fiction.
The interwoven stories of the citizens of Kingsbridge, from childhood on, pull the reader in and makes them interested in the fates of the characters, and one can become emotionally attached to perceived injustices or those instances of good fortune. I absolutely could not put the book down and was thankful for the carpooling Victor and I have been doing as it allowed me to get valuable reading time in during the tedious work commute (an otherwise miserable experience in the overcrowded, dismal concrete jungle that is the Dallas metroplex).
Once I finished World I was on the hunt for its predecessor, Pillars of the Earth, hoping to find it on Costco's book tables as well and getting a good deal. But that was not to be, and needing a "fix," I ordered it through Amazon. I was NOT disappointed! Once again I became mesmerized by the intertwined stories revolving around the building of a new cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge. Heartbreaking and uplifting and at times maddening, once again the reader becomes involved with the well-fleshed-out characters. Both books also brought new insights into how things worked during those times - politics, self interest and promotion, injustices wrought by the wealthy (nothing new there!) and the reality of daily life amidst the differing classes and the clergy.
I was excited to learn that Pillars is currently in production for a miniseries (oh how I would rather a big screen affair - but this will do). More information on the film may be found here. For more on Ken Follett and his work, visit this site.