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on 6 March 2017
This book has been a friend for sometime and has awakened an interest in the period depicted. I learnt a lot, it filled in a period of history that school never touched. I shall miss it.
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on 16 June 2017
As a fan of this author I can thoroughly recommend this book, historically this has opened my eyes to the reasons for the First World War and also the Bolshevik Revolution. I have also read the second book in the series and am half way through the third! I would advise that all three books are read one after the other to ensure continuity of the story and to keep the families involved in perspective.
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on 22 February 2015
Excellent.. A great way to read about the world politics just before, during and just after the Great War.. World War One and to understand how the world changed and developed during those years. Fiction mixed with fact makes for an easier reading than all fact can.. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to follow the fall of the upper classes coupled with the rise to the middle classes of working people who had their eyes open to the way their lives were influenced by the upper classes at that time and worked tirelessly to pull the system down. A work that is still going on today. You see many similarities in this book to the way the Conservatives worked then and the way they still work today and the start of the Labour Party who worked for the working man.

Can't wait to read the next book in this trilogy..
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on 25 June 2017
Easy to read, great historical content, interesting. Eg snap, bread and lard with salt on grandad was a miner and had exactly same thing.
Historical content not always accurate eg Ethel 20 and housekeeper would never happen, Etehel outspoken to betters would never happen.
Continuity one second the boy Billy was 13 next it was 3 years later.

Kings visit Ethel organising trip to meet injured would never have happened.

Interesting narrative building up back story of the characters eg Grigori Russian factory worker.

The writing was really good and really drew you in and made me feel engaged with the characters, liked them and wanted to find out what happened to them. I really didn't want them to get killed either in the mine, the war or the revolution.

Very interesting the birth of labour and how it laid the foundations of today's Labour Party.

Reminded me of the history and taught me some history I didn't know eg the British fighting against the Russian revolutionists after the end of the First World War.

I just flew through the book read in a week as it was so riveting. Looking forward to the next ones.
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on 25 April 2017
A fascinating collection of characters from several social classes and countries weave the tale of how and why WW1 happened. The follies and atrocities due to politics, class and incompetence of the ruling leaders exposed. Also charts the rise of the Labour Party and the socialist power swing that changed the world forever.
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on 31 July 2015
This is the first Ken Follett I have read and I am only a third way through but finding it riveting. The first third of the book focuses on the lead up to the First World War from various view points. I feel I have a better understanding now of how and why the war started, the reasons were very complicated but the book explains it in a way that is easy to understand. I look forward to reading the rest of the book - and the others in the trilogy.
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on 1 August 2014
This is an excellant "can't put down" type read, travelling from Wales to England, Russia, France and so on. Following the path of various (occasionally linked) families of the subjects of all the main Nationalities as above. the story starts just before WW I finishing at the immediate aftremath tying up most of the loose ends at the finish, preparing you for the sequels! One has to note he leans quite heavily to the left in his politics, but not to the the detriment of the story which is extremely close to the historical truth, and peppered with 'real people and polititians' . It's a trilogy so no prizes for guessing - I've started the sequel! Read and enjoy.
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on 15 July 2014
This book was recommended by my son and I am glad he did. There is so much going on it was hard to put it down as you follow several families through World War One , how they struggled how they fought to survive. Gave me a better understanding of how much war time affects lives, you feel you are there with them. I would definitely recommend this book, you will be hooked from page one. I am now reading the second book in the trilogy.
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on 21 March 2017
a very good read looking forward to the 2nd in the series
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on 2 June 2017
A good yarn that may introduce some to the history of the period but marred by the gratuitous sex which may appeal to the average 13 year old schoolboy.
Leave it out Ken .If we wanted it, we would have bought 50 Sheds Of Grey. An anthology of sheds is much more interesting than reading about what comes naturally.
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