Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's all on the very last line in Book #44: Sons of Fortune

Years ago, in fact, having just recently had a birthday such a term could now be described as "decades ago", I read First Among Equals, by Jeffrey Archer. It's the story of four ambitious MPs who take their seats at Westminster in the 1960s. The story covers three decades and the quest by each man to become prime minister. I don't remember much about this story, and to be honest, I don't think I truly understood it, nor appreciated it, but I don't think it will be long before I re read it, particularly after devouring another of Jeffrey Archer's novels.

Sons of Fortune captivated me. Absolutely and utterly. I was totally blown away by Archer's story telling and all the research he must do for each and every one of his novels. There are so many characters, so many twists and turns in each of his books, and so many "teasers" throughout, that I was constantly on the edge of my seat (or couch, or lounge chair in the sunshine, or bed!) desperate to find out what happened. 

Set in America, beginning in the 1940s and covering several decades, Sons of Fortune is the story of Nathaniel Cartwright and Fletcher Davenport, twin brothers separated at birth. They're raised in different worlds, but nonetheless, worlds of relative privilege and as such their paths eventually cross as they both vie for significant political power. In what seems to be typical Archer style, each of the chapters alternates between the characters, telling the stories concurrently and eventually intertwining. Which means, one chapter is never enough.

I was engrossed with each of the brothers. I didn't have a favourite, both captured my attention, and each of their stories was as strong as the other... right down to the very last line. And I mean, the last line. Archer delivers the ending to this book, quite literally, at the very end. As I read the last line I was left gobsmacked. I didn't see the ending coming, nor could I have predicted it, but it was the ultimate way to finish this novel.

What's more, if you're one of those people who sneakily peeks at the end of books to see how it all comes together - you won't have any luck with this one, because you need the info throughout the story to really appreciate, not to mention understand, the ending!

This one gets an A++!!

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