I’ve been addicted to Ken Follett for the last month or so. I began reading his historical fiction novel Fall of Giants last month, and that quickly became an obsession that led me to not only finish that monstrosity of an audio book (over 40 hours of listening – God bless walking and subway commutes, as well as lunchtime walks), but also to reach part four of four of the second book in the century trilogy, Winter of the World. While Book 1 goes over the period of WWI, this second book goes over WWII in every majorly affected country. We learn in great detail how Nazi Germany affected the day to day lives of everyday people, from the methods that were used in hospitals to dispel the country of everyone who was in any way disabled, crippled, or elderly, to the killings of innocent people who merely wanted to speak out loud. It’s like as I am reading this book, I can feel the pain that they are feeling, and when people are beaten to death by the Gestapo or die as civilians during the attack on Pearl Harbor, I become grief-stricken and tear up myself.
The world in which we live is not perfect. It’s quite far from it, especially when events like school shootings become an everyday current event when I look at Google News. But maybe what we live in is not so bad when we realize that the concept of a world war is so foreign to us, and known to us only through textbooks or historical fiction novels like this one. We’re really lucky in a lot of ways that we take for granted. This book reminds me of it.