Edge of Eternity

Written by Ken Follett
Review by Viviane Crystal

The Century Trilogy concludes with this historical novel that captures the essence of historical events from 1961 to 2008. It is thrilling in its evocation of critical events and their participants, who capture the successes and failures of freedom’s evolution in America, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Vietnam and more notable places.

The early conflict of the Freedom Riders, who began the fight for civil rights for African-Americans, is riveting reading. The leadership and shocking deaths of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy are depicted as suddenly and dramatically as they occurred, as well as the legacy they left with regard to the Berlin crisis, the attempts at segregating public facilities and educational institutions, the conflict in Vietnam, and more. The evolution of communism in Russia, Germany and Poland is documented in its notorious stages. Bitter rivalries and debates fill these pages with the intensity that is normal for this author’s writing style; this enriches the readers’ experience, as it is so full of human ability, deception, and manipulative machinations. Popular culture is also given its due as music evolves from the acceptable social norm to rock music and lyrics which parallel the increasing demand for freedom and human rights.

What makes this all work so phenomenally well is that we follow the story through a set of characters who live and engage in all these events over the years, with romance, terror, frustration, determination, fury and celebration. It is their involvement that saves this novel from just being a skimming of the surface of history, and it’s a glorious conclusion to a remarkable trilogy that is wonderful, exhilarating reading for all ages. Fine, fine historical fiction!