Nov 6, 2014

Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)

Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)Winter of the World by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fascism is on the rise ................

Lloyd Williams goes to Spain (Spanish Civil War) to fight Fascism. He and his cousin Dave Williams (Billy's son) endure great hardship under the leadership of a Russian Commander. When they are ordered to attack a Fascist stronghold without sufficient ammunition the Commander executes Dave for disobeying orders, because Lloyd is wounded his life is spared and he slowly makes his way back to England with a heavy heart.

Daisy (Lev Peshkov's daughter) craves acceptance into Buffalo high society. She is crushed when Charlie Farquharson jilts her at a society ball due to her Father's actions. She flees to England where she meets and marries Boy Fitzherbert (Fitz's son with Princess Bea), Viscount of Aberowen. But the marriage is an unhappy one and Daisy falls in love with Lloyd Williams (Fitz's son with Ethel Leckwith). Lloyd is sent to France (WWII) to help hold off the German invasion. He is presumed dead when his name doesn't show up on any Prisoner of War list, but he actually managed to escape from his captors and walk across the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain and the British Consulate there. Daisy winds up driving ambulances in London during the blitz and is on hand to greet Lloyd when he gets home. They become lovers but Boy refuses to grant her a divorce even after they reveal that Lloyd is his half-brother. Lloyd goes to work with British intelligence and returns to France to aid the French Resistance. When Boy's aircraft goes down Lloyd pulls Boy from the wreckage and Boy dies in his arms. At the end of the war Lloyd returns to England and marries Daisy and goes to work in the Government.

Woody Dewar (Gus & Rosa's eldest son) and his fiance Joanne Rouzrokh are in Hawaii visiting his brother Chuck when Pearl Harbor is attacked. Joanne dies in the attack.

Greg Peshkov (Lev's son) works on the Manhattan Project, as part of Army Intelligence. Greg also fathered a son (Georgy) with the black girl (Jacky Jakes) Lev hired to lie about Dave Rouzrokh (Joanne's Father).

Walter von Ulrich and Maude are appalled when the Nazis take control of Germany. When their maid's retarded son Kurt is murdered by the Nazis' Walter tries to uncover the truth and is brutally beaten by the Nazis and dies as a result, his daughter Carla is determined to uncover the truth and works with her best friend Frieda Franck whose retarded brother Axel was also murdered to uncover the truth. They eventually get proof and take it to a Catholic Priest who uses his pulpit to denounce the murder of the retarded, sick and elderly the Nazis are engaged in. Carla is disappointed that Werner Franck (Frieda's brother and her boyfriend) will not help them and they break up. What she doesn't know is that Werner is spying for the Russians (Volodya Peshkov) and can't risk drawing attention to himself. She eventually learns his secret and takes over his spy network when he is sent to the front.

When the Russians liberate Germany Carla is raped by Russian soldiers and becomes pregnant as a result. The Russians treat the Germans harshly unlike the American, French and British soldiers but unfortunately the von Ulrich's live in the area of Germany under Russian control.

Dr Isaac Rothmann (Jewish) was taken away with his mentally ill patients and is presumed dead. His wife Hannelore survives thanks to Carla and they sent their daughter Eva to the States where Daisy befriends her. She accompanies Daisy to England and marries Jimmy Murray.

Volodya Peshkov discovers that Lev is his Father and that Grigori is actually his Uncle when Greg comes to Russia with the American delegation. Volodya is married to a Russian Scientist (Zoya) who is taken into custody by the Secret Police to insure that when they send Volodya to America to steal the atomic bomb he will return to Russia. He meets with his old school friend Wilhelm Frunze who was part of the Manhattan Project and convinces him to give him the plans for "Fat Boy". Wilhelm Frunze is executed when his treason is discovered.

Follett does an excellent job of explaining the conditions that lead up to World War II and the importance of various events before and after the war. Looking forward to reading the third book in the trilogy and finding out what he has in store for the next generation.

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