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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

A Place Called Freedom - Ken Follett A Place Called Freedom follows the character Mack from a coal mine in Scotland to London where he struggles to earn decent pay for himself and other laborers. He ends up in the colony of Virginia still yearning for true freedom. This novel had great potential to be a story as gripping as Pillars of the Earth, but it feels rushed instead. I would have loved more detail about the surroundings and period details about dress, food, & everyday life. I especially thought the story fell short when Follett decided not to describe Mack's journeys in detail. We learn nothing of his trip from Scotland to London other than how long it took. The Atlantic crossing could have been very exciting and suspenseful, but instead is just brought to an end and we are told how many died. The characters, especially Mack, are interesting but not as developed as they could be in order to really feel that you "know" them and care about them. I couldn't decide if Lizzie was strong and independant or impetuous and selfish. I also never really understood why Jay's father hated him so much. Overall, I did like this book and enjoy reading about the time period covered, but I wish Follett had made it about twice as long.