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'Winter of the World' by Ken Follett

Book Club Discussion Questions

By

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Penguin
Winter of the World is the second book in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, following Fall of Giants. The scope of the novel is broad, taking readers across the world during the years leading up to, during and immediately following World War II.

Spoiler Warning: These questions reveal details from the novel. Finish the book before reading on.

  1. Walter, Maud and Ethel all maintained that Facism must be fought peacefully and through political process. After the war, Ethel admits she was wrong. To what extent do you think it is acceptable or necessary to meet violence with violence? How do you see the justification of violence to maintain ideals being misused in Russia throughout the novel?
  2. Volodya convinces Werner and others in Germany to spy on Nazis for the Russians, yet he admits he would not betray his country even if he disagrees with the leaders. Do you sympathize more with those who betray their country for the greater good or those who refuse to do things that would harm their country's soldiers even if they disagree with the government?
  3. Daisy changes from a shallow socialite into someone who cares little about class. How did this happen? Was it believable?
  4. Why do you think the Russian troops were so violent to the Germans while the American and British troops were more sympathetic?
  5. Is Greg Peshkov as ruthless as his father? How are they similar and how are they different?
  6. Is it believable that Greg's parents would accept his illegitimate mixed race child?
  7. Is it believable that Chuck's parents would accept his same-sex relationship? Why or why not?
  8. What did you think about Lloyd's attitude toward Fitz and Fitz's response at the end of the novel? Do you think Lloyd should have been angry at Ethel for not telling him the truth about his father?
  9. Did you learn anything new about the events surrounding or during World War II?
  10. Did you believe all the coincidental meetings? Overall, how would you rate Follett's writing?
  11. Did you read Fall of Giants? If so, how do you think Winter of the World compared to the first book? Will you read the third book in the trilogy?
  12. What plot threads from this novel do you think will grow in the next installment in the Century Trilogy?
  13. Rate Winter of the World on a scale of 1 to 5.
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