Winter of the World is the second book in the Century Trilogy. This trilogy follows a series of generations in five different families struggling to survive through the 20th century. The second book, Winter of the World, picks up during World War II as the Third Reich rises and chaos ensues.
It begins with Walter and Maud Von Ulrich and their two children, Eric and Carla, in Berlin. Eric, who aspires to be a doctor, becomes a part of the Third Reich contrary to his parents’ wishes. Carla, on the other hand, works her hardest to become a nurse and assists in the war. On the other side of the world, American brothers Chuck and Woody Dewar both work their hardest to aid America in the war. Then we have Lloyd Williams, an Englishman who is determined to fight both Communism and Fascism to the best of his abilities. Winter of the World also follows Daisy, who cares only about her popularity, and her cousin Volodya, who is a crucial member of an intelligence team in Russia.
Yes, this novel is a total chaotic mess, but it has a great theme of strength and perseverance. It shows that in order to survive, we as humans use our strength and persevere through turmoil. Through the craziness of World War II, we see these characters fight through to reach their dreams and fight for what they believe is right. With that, it conveys its theme very strongly, and delivers a strong message about how with strength we can always survive.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was a bit long, but was worth the time. I always enjoy Follett’s work, and this one was equally enjoyable as all the rest. I especially loved how the characters were developed and how the plot was laid out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as fast-paced as what I’m used to, but it was still quite enjoyable.