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The Evening and the Morning

by Ken Follett

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9483517,088 (4.09)11
"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"--… (more)
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English (27)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
"Where do I begin, to tell a story of...."** a favorite author who disappointed.

I will tell you what I like about it:

-It is classic Follett, with the good clergy and the evil clergy-always a good romp. There are everyday people, in everyday situations that although we do not live in medieval times we can all relate to.
-there are strong female characters who take center stage from beginning to end.
-there are hidden references to [b:The Pillars of the Earth|5043|The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)|Ken Follett|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1576956100l/5043._SY75_.jpg|3359698], a lifetime top ten read for me.
-It was an escape, when I really needed one

This is where it gets tough-what did I not like about it? I am just not sure. But something felt off, or forced maybe? Was Follett under pressure to write a prequel? The first 200 pages or so, it did not seem like Follet to me. It was so simple, nothing like the previous books in this story. I mentioned this to a friend after reading his review, and he said he felt this was intentional, to reinforce the simpler times this book takes place in. I saw the ending coming half way through, always a disappointment when that happens.

I liked it. I did not love it as I had hoped.


**For you younger members that is the beginning lines from the theme song From Love Story ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
Enjoyed as thoroughly as the others in the Kingsbridge series. It took awhile to even getting an inkling of how the characters and places (except Shiring) connected to the next book. Follett reveals it slowly, but never a full moment. Couldn't put it down. I'm sad that I've finished it. I wish he'll write more books about Kingsbridge, but I fear that's unlikely. ( )
  Michmars | Aug 31, 2021 |
Ken Follett's The Evening and the Morning is the prequel to his The Pillars of the Earth, which is set during the twelfth century in the fictional town of Kingsbridge from about 1120 to 1170. This novel opens July 17, 1997 near Combe, England. Follett develops three main characters from contrasting social levels to tell the story: Edgar, the boatbuilder's son, is exceptionally bright and intrepid; Ragna, often known as Deborah for her judicial skill, daughter of Count Hubert of Cherbourg; and Prior Aldred a pious, ambitious and brilliant monk.
The Evening and the Morning, though set in the tenth century is a completely modern novel with an abundance of explicit sex, a nod to homosexuality, sweet, sentimental romance, vicious villainy, wicked tyrannical men, and a number of strong, competent women. It is a brilliantly written historical novel which portrays medieval society vividly and details the ordinary details of life.
  RonWelton | Aug 13, 2021 |
loved it ( )
  phillygal47 | Jul 11, 2021 |
Staring in 997 CE, we follow the lives of the three main characters: Edgar is the gifted son of a boatbuilder whose father and married lover are killed during a Vikings raid, and his mother and brothers move to a small town called Dreng's Ferry, which becomes Kingsbridge. Ragna of Normandy falls hard for a British earl (Wilf), moving across the Channel, where she finds life to be a challenge as she is despised by her husband's two brothers, stepmother, and son. Brother Aldred, a junior monk, has aspirations of building a library and making his poor, humble abbey a renowned center for scholarship and learning. All three are challenged at every turn, most especially by Wilf's clever but evil brother, Winstan, the local Bishop, whose greed and ambition to be Archbishop are unrelenting. Yet, the three form a strong bond, helped to some extent by the local sheriff, Den.

Follett weaves a strong story, rife with the ongoing battles prevalent during those years between the monarchy and Church, local vs. central government, petty disputes over land, chattel, adultery, inheritance, larger disputes over territory, etc. Edgar's creativity, vision and kindness were awe-inspiring, and I really liked Blod, the slave, as a character. Unlike some readers, I ploughed through the novel, barely noticing the 900 pages. My only criticism is I thought the word "fuck" would not have been used in that time period. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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Het viel niet mee om de hele nacht wakker te blijven, vond Edgar, zelfs in de belangrijkste nacht van je leven.
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"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"--

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