Genre: historical fiction
Length: 973 pages
Setting: England, 1135-1174
Interest: I was looking for a random book from the library and remembered StatsGuy telling me how much he enjoyed the miniseries made from the book (see The Pillars Of The Earth (Part 1)). I’ve enjoyed other books by Follett so I picked it up.
Summary: We follow the intertwined lives of a village as a cathedral is built in Shiring. Tom Builder gets hired to build it by Prior Philip, who has just been appointed to a run-down monastery. Working against them is Bishop Walerian, who is trying to advance his career at the expense of Phillip’s, and William Hamleigh, who believes everyone is there to serve his every whim. There’s also Aliana, whom William rapes when he’s given the earldom and her father is convicted of treason. Prior Phillip and Aliana manage to outwit the Bishop and William at every turn, building an awesome new cathedral.
Final thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially since I’ve been in England and have seen some of the awe-inspiring cathedrals there. We just don’t have the equivalent in the U.S. The book was long, but it didn’t feel padded. It needed the length in order to provide all the detail and breadth of time to the story.
Reading challenges fulfilled: None since this is a book review of a book read in a previous year.
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