This book was recommended by a friend who knows I like historical fiction, and knows that I like books that are thick.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is apparently 980 pages long
I was lent a physical copy of this book – normally I read everything on my Kindle – and as such it took me until I went on holiday to get into it. I started it a couple of times before and only got as far as and then the family had their pig stolen before putting it down and not feeling inclined to pick it up again.
I was glad that I did pick it up again. While it can most easily be described as a book about building a cathedral, this is really a multi-generation family drama set in the 12th century, during a time of political unrest where if you had a horse and a sword and a bunch of friends with horses and swords you could pretty much do as you pleased, because nobody was really in power to tell you off.
Our protagonists do not have horses and swords, and plenty of people nearly die of starvation. Everything seems very precarious.
The sex scenes are admittedly excruciating, but elsewhere the over-the-top detail is great for knowing what people’s houses were like, where they slept, what they ate, etc. I love this kind of thing and much prefer a museum of everyday objects to one of fancy pieces. I’d rather see the cup you really drink out of than the vase that sits on a shelf.
Amazon says something about a TV adaptation, so I’m now off to look that up!