I'm a sucker for a good historical fiction novel, and this is one! It follows 5 families (one Welsh, one Russian, one American, one Brit and one German) from the turn of the century to just after WWI, showing how their stories meet and part while they live in those turbulent times. Now you know there are going to be a lot of characters when you have to have a list of them in the front of the book, but these are even organized by nationality and sometimes even by job. And I'm so glad Ken Follett did that, because I'm one of those people that has a hard time remembering who's who.
It's a big, sweeping book, and Follett is planing of following it with two more just like it, since it says on the front cover that this is book one of The Century Trilogy. I think it's fascinating to see how war brings very different people together that would never have met and creates a new reality that our ancestors would be rather surprised to learn about (for example: both of my husband's grandparents never would have met each other without WWII happening). So I can't wait for the next book, which will undoubtedly deal with WWII and how the same characters and their children experience it.