Well it only took be about 3 months, but I finally finished the mighty tome that is Edward Rutherfurd’s London.
For lovers of historical fiction this is definitely an author you will want to check out. This is my first experience reading his work, but it did not disappoint and with similar titles such as New York and Paris I feel I will probably continue to enjoy. Be aware that these books are very hefty, but in my opinion this one was worth it.
London begins in 54 B.C. and takes you on a historical journey until modern day (1997. As that is when the book was published). It follows several different families from different walks of life. These families evolve in so many ways, from status to religion, political views, and even name, that you can’t help to want see how they will transform in each era.
I was also drawn to the way the landscape of London evolved over time. From its earliest days being nothing but a camping ground for nomadic tribes, to the grandiose forum that erupted under Roman rule, to a more modest working man’s city, and beyond. The history of not only the characters, but the city itself was very intriguing.
Rutherfurd also does a wonderful job of combining fact with fiction, with nods and mentions to several historical figures while keeping them secondary to the characters’ storylines.
The only con, which I feel tends to be the case with a lot of historical fiction, and especially one of this length, is that there were some dry spells, simply because not all of history is exciting! But Rutherfurd does seem to combat this as best he can, and for the most part the book moves along rather smoothly.
Overall, again, I recommend this to anyone who really enjoys historical fiction. It is very reminiscent of Ken Follett, so if you enjoy any of his works, then you should give this a shot as well. For me, 4 out of 5 stars for London.