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Book Review: The Evening and The Morning

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a thrilling and addictive new novel—a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth—set in England at the dawn of a new era: the Middle Ages

It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is facing attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Those in power bend justice according to their will, regardless of ordinary people and often in conflict with the king. Without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns.

In these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined. A young boatbuilder’s life is turned upside down when the only home he’s ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in…. A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land, but the customs of her husband’s homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic…. A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each, in turn, comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.

Thirty years ago, Ken Follett published his most popular novel, The Pillars of the Earth. Now, Follett’s masterful new prequel The Evening and the Morning takes us on an epic journey into a historical past rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.

On Sale Date: September 15, 2020

I bypassed many other ARCs to dive into this treasure. It was so worth it. Total escapism from the world, the story merged seamlessly with The Pillars of the Earth- which I now need to re-read immediately! I know it’s a long time before you can read it, but I wanted to encourage Ken Follett fans to keep your eyes out for it. I’m hoping they may move up the release date.

It has everything, romance, treachery, history, and it’s the kind of book that you can’t put down. One more page, one more chapter, there’s never a good time to put it aside.

There are three principal characters in each novel. They include a builder and planner, a beautiful young lady with a royal background who travels from Normandy in France to marry in Kingsbridge, and a monk whose dream for the abbey that he works in is to make it a learning center for both clergy and laypeople. Remember how much you hated William Hamleigh in Pillars of the Earth? This story has an excellent villain in the Bishop of the area.

All in all, it’s exactly what you’d expect and want from a Ken Follett novel. and was a great immersive escape in these days when you would rather think about a different sort of world.

By Jenny Naughton

JENNY NAUGHTON and her husband share their 1930's era Chicago home with four sons and a daughter. A voracious reader, Jen reviews books before their release for dozens of publishers on her page: Windy City Reader. Jen also blogs (on WordPress!) about classical, mostly secular, home education at Good Enough Homeschool.
In her spare time, she runs an online book club for teens and helps other home educating family match their kids with the perfect book for them.
You can find Jen misbehaving on social media on
Twitter: @jennynau10

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