I was afraid of picking up this one as unfortunately its prequel “Kane and Abel” didn’t work the way I expected it to. But a dear friend who was going through a reading slump asked me to read a book jointly so we keep discussing about it, encouraging each other to read more :). I recommended her this one, as she too had recently read Kane and Abel. I can bet, she hasn’t finished this one yet and I am already done with it and Jeffrey Archer I must say is back in my life with a bang! What a wonderful wonderful read this one turned out to be, totally unlike its prequel. I have read so many love stories and lost count which have given me a huge lump in my throat the size of a basketball. And I have read so many thrillers which have sent me to the edge of my favorite reading chair and at times I have fallen off from it too, holding the book in hand still reading. And I have read quite a few political thrillers too which have multiplied my knowledge of politics in various countries to many-folds, but this one was one amazing book and story which has all of those elements and so much more. Jeffrey Archer, I tell you is a magician and terrific is the way the way he weaves his stories and so many amazing characters that you just can’t help but fall in love with them, head over heels. This book is so good and story is so convincing that I actually had to Google to double confirm that Archer is really British and not American 🙂 which this book made me believe. Unbelievable totally awesome.
Kane and Abel (1979) was and I believe still is one of the most recommended Jeffrey Archer book that I read this year and was heart broken as it didn’t had that expected magic on me. But its sequel The Prodigal Daughter (1982) was totally mind-blowing. Story picks up right from the point where Kane and Abel had left it, was such a turning point in the story that I was looking forward to this one big time. Also, in the prequel the kids get almost no attention since Kane and Abel both were two amazing characters and their animosity towards each other was the main point of the story. Fortunately their kids falling in love with each other was pretty predictable and cliche to say the least but it worked in it. Now here in the second part, the way Archer turns the things around and makes it not only an amazing love story but a thriller too and like I said with so much politics in it, that the book is an unbelievable unputdownable from the very start. The kind of footage Florentyna (Abel’s Daughter) and Richard (Kane’s son) get in this one and their story unfolds in flashbacks was simply mind-blowing. Also, what I loved about this whole book and story was that Archer not only give their dues to kids but almost all the supporting characters too. It took me only couple of chapters to realize why he remains one of my favorite Authors of all times (even after giving me a heart-break earlier) and he totally impressed me with his word power and magic. Even after knowing a bit like how the lead characters will get together and make their life, the journey was simply brilliant. School friends, struggles, dreams, aspirations, and support from the family, my mind kept going back to the prequel imagining what was happening in their parents life while they were going through their time in boarding schools and college, simply awesome that was.
The story has so much going on at a break neck pace that it is just too tough to review it. The woman who is loved by two men 🙂 and it is too tough to decide which one you like (read love) more. The family feud and friends to the rescue was so filmy yet just amazing. I loved Florentyna’s friend Bella and her husband who leave no stone upturned in helping them and how they are loved back by Florentyna is just superb. Why Richard, her husband keeps calling her Jessie, has so much to do with the last part, puts a smile on my face throughout till the very end. Shocking twists and turns for which Archer is anyways famous were totally unpredictable to say the least, even after reading so much of him, I was never prepared. And lets not even talk about the important events from the history which gets a mention here and a mention there 🙂 they just keep the ball rolling and making the reader in me happy all the time. And let me not forget the book references made by him especially when the year passing by is 1984 :).
One of my favorite character from this one is none of the leads but a Governess which deserves a big mention. The way she takes care of the “Prodigal Daughter” and how she was responsible single handed to make her what she becomes by the end, was a mind-blowing journey. I just couldn’t believe how he carved her beautiful character and yet gives her the full due by the ending. Jeffrey Archer has no doubt, an outstanding knowledge of how the things move in American politics especially the way he has captured it all in fiction, I am sure he must have his own sources for the way he has captured it all leading it to the Presidential elections is one heck of a story. Hats off to the man and his wild imagination and I loved the little Indian connection and that special mention right in the very start, which indeed put a big wide smile on my face. His brilliance lies in the way he makes it a superb heart-touching story to an amazing love story to an out and out thriller by the time it ends. No ways I can now resist the last of the series, the third book from the trilogy “Shall we tell the President” that I will be picking up very soon.
Have you read the “Kane and Abel” Trilogy? Which one is your favorite from the three books? And if you haven’t read them, you’ve go to start from the start, till I come back with my thoughts on the last one…coming soon.