Book review: Night Over Water

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

I’m usually rather tentative when it comes to purchasing things online, since it’s not as easy to know exactly what you’re getting when all you have is a picture and a brief description to go off of. Still, when you have an amazon gift card in your grasp and a list of several books you’ve always wanted to read… well, it doesn’t take much more convincing than that. So, I now have three more Neil Gaiman books to add to my collection, which I will hopefully get to reading sooner rather than later.

That’s something to look forward to in the future though. Back to the present time, I am both excited and relieved to say that I have finally finished reading a book I borrowed from a friend of mine well over a year ago… I would also like to apologize to said individual, if you were looking for it at any point forgetting that it has been in my possession. I kept it safe and sound all this time, so there is no need to fret over its wellbeing, and I shall return it to you as soon as humanly possible.

Night Over Water by Ken Follett

 

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Night Over Water is one of those books that ten years ago, I would never have had any interest in reading at all. What kind of book doesn’t have magic, dragons and epic battles? My reading bubble was very small back then, limited to books that at least on some level resembled Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia. It wouldn’t be too far off to say that I was a shallow reader, for which I am rather ashamed, but I am happy to say that I have improved a great deal since then, and this book is proof of that.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but what I love most about Ken Follett’s writing is that no matter how big or small the character is, every single one of them is integral to the over-arching plot, each thrust into a complex situation that reveals not only the type of person they are, but which also serves as a reflection of the time in which they exist.

Night Over Water takes place during World War II. The Germans are advancing on Britain. Some choose to remain behind and take part in the war efforts. Others, for one reason or another, support Hitler’s fascist ideals and hope to curry favour with him and help to create the world he envisioned. Then there are those who seek to escape the destruction and bloodshed, and those are the ones who have found themselves aboard the Pan American Clipper as it embarks on its journey towards America. You would think being in the sky would be much safer than being on the ground, but it just wouldn’t be a Ken Follett novel if that were the case. Scandals, lust, politics, thievery and sabotage abound as the lives of characters coming from various walks of life intertwine with one another, and not always for the better.

I have to confess that this is one of those books that I couldn’t just sit down and read at any time. For me, I had to be in the right mood and with the right mindset before I could dive in, and that’s because even though it’s a fictitious story, it is based on a very bloody and heart wrenching part of human history. Also, even though I watch a lot of television that’s filled with sex and violence, it has a very different feel to it when you’re reading it in such detail, which is another mark of a Ken Follett novel. When I am in the right mood though, it’s a hard book to put down.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Admittedly, war themed novels are not usually to my liking – I would go into why, but I don’t feel the need to start a debate on ideologies at the present time – but this novel focuses less on the war and more on how the lives of these characters – from the rich to the less well off – are affected by it instead. There are also some interesting perspectives shared on the various political ideologies that were both popular and unpopular at the time, which is something I found to be most intriguing.

That’s one more book I can add to my read shelf. If you have any questions about the book, or if you have read it yourself and would like to share some of your opinions on it, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or on my blogs Facebook page. As always, I look forward to hearing from you, and until next time, happy reading!

 

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

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