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Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
Fall of Giants is the first of Ken Follett's books in the Century Trilogy. Beginning in the years before World War I, it follows a disparate group of people who are witnesses to major events in the early 20th century. Billy Williams is a teenage miner in Wales; his sister Ethel is a housekeeper for the wealthy Fitzherbert family; Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls for a German spy; Gus Dewar is a law student working in the Wilson White House; Grigori and Lev Peshkov are Russian brother caught in the war and the revolution. Fall of Giants has received mostly positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "It is perhaps Follett's greatest virtue as a novelist than he has been able to bring forward a writing style he perfected in his earlier thrillers - suspenseful, tightly constructed, sharply characterized, plot-driven - into some of the biggest-picture fiction being written today. Essentially, he's writing several interrelated books at once, without ever losing the inevitable forward impulse. And while it sounds bizarre to consider a book this huge a 'page-turner,' that's exactly what Fall of Giants is."