I was nominated by my Aunt Jody to post 7 books, one per day (without skipping) that I love and that have made an impression on me. This is a Facebook challenge, but I decided to share my posts on my blog as well.
#1 Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
My Mom first told me about this book when I was growing up. She’d read some, and then tell us what happened. When I went to Europe in 1994 on a school trip, the tour guide mentioned Pillars of the Earth. I decided I had to read it when I got home. Having just seen so much of Western Europe brought the book even more to life than was already done by Follett’s masterful storytelling.
It’s a historical fiction novel about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. The greatest Gothic Cathedral ever known. You have the main characters cast of fictional people, and then you’ll come across real people along the way — such as Thomas Becket (aka Saint Thomas of Canterbury).
“It is set in the middle of the 12th century, primarily during the Anarchy, between the time of the sinking of the White Ship and the murder of Thomas Becket. The book traces the development of Gothic architecture out of the preceding Romanesque architecture, and the fortunes of the Kingsbridge priory and village against the backdrop of historical events of the time.”
There’s a lot going on between royalty and the church; a lot of the end justifies the means — even if the end is personal, not for the church/not for the people.
Though not religious, I enjoyed reading about how they made stunningly beautiful, and large, churches, without the technology and machinery we have today.
(It is also a miniseries, which was pretty good, despite the changes they made. Many of the cast were unknowns or relatively unknown at the time, making it easier to see them as their character.)
I wrote to Ken Follett years ago about how much I enjoyed the book, and asked if there was a movie version of it. That I could swear that I’d actually heard the song in it somewhere, and seen it — he replied and said I wasn’t the first. But no, at that time, there was just the book. That should tell you something about how much you are drawn into this book, and how well you can really see what is happening!
It is a fantastic and interesting read. It really brings the past to life. The characters are personable, relatable. I’ve gone through about 5 copies of the book, before finally giving up and getting it on my Kindle app (but I still have 1 physical copy)!
If you do this on your own blog, please let me know the link in comments so I can come read about your 7 books!