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4.0 out of 5 stars
Place Called Freedom
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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2008
For anyone who has given this book five stars, you either haven not read enough or have not read any of Ken Follets true masterpieces. None the less this novel was quite captivating, as the plot turned out to be excitingly progressive full of memorable moments that often make the book hard to put down. The character depth as in most of Ken Follet's books was quite rich, which makes reading the novel a lot more attractive.

The story starts off with a young Scottish coal miner strugglling to obtain his right to be free. The book revolves around this personal struggle of his and is easily the main theme of the book. No matter where he is, he seems to find himself being taken advantage of, being kept down by those whom consider themselves better. His inability to accept the idea that being rich makes you above the law and better then the working class makes it possible for Mack to establish a relationship with a young women by the name of Lizzie. As the story progresses their paths become ever more entwined as he can't seem to break away from the Jamisson family, a family Lizzie eventually becomes part of, whom work tirelessly to keep Mack from achieving anything.

The book, as written, is broken up into three sections. Each one is comprised of the locality in which Mack finds himself. The transition from each place is very well done, as certain reoccuring themes and characters are present within each section. All in all the book was quite entertaining and the ending leaves you satisfied as it wraps up quite nicely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2003
After one chapter, I knew how the story would end, but that didn't change my enjoyment of A Place Called Freedom. Follett explores the life of lowly coal miner Mac who longs to be free and free-spirited Lizzie who has a disdain for the social classes of her time.
Still she marries Jay Jamison and she truly loves him. Jay Jamison is an interesting Follett character. This book compares with a Dangerous Fortune in plot and scope, but that book had clearly defined good and evil characters. Jay and Lizzie were in love, and through actions of their family, their love was destroyed. Still, to the end Jay always cared for Lizzie. Still, his devotion to power and greed and to please his family mattered more.
Follett is great at developing characters and educating the reader on the certain time period. Follett details the day to day life and the character's interaction with social norms very well.
I haven't read too many of Follet's WWII novels or spy novels and look forward to moving on to those. I've read six Follett books, and only the Third Twin was bad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 1996
Fast paced saga of life in 1700's Scotland and Virginia. Ken
Follett again does a masterful job of interweaving historical
fact with fictional characters. The story encompasses all
strata of family life, both rich and poor.

The tale starts out in Scotland where an indentured servant toils
in the coal mines yearning for freedom. His interactions
among his peers and the landed gentry vividly evoke the harsh life of the eighteenth century Scotland. His relationship with the mistress of the castle moves from Scotland, to London, to Virginia and finally to their freedom.

Follett evokes eighteenth century life and makes you feel that you are there. He skillfully details life in small town Scotland, the City of London, and the Virginia frontier.

The book provides an enjoyable, fast paced read in a historical setting. Over the years Follett has broadened his range from spy/mystery novels to historical sages mixing fact with fiction. The book moves right along and you won1t want to put the book down until you are finished.
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on May 15, 2000
Follett has written a very interesting study of freedom and non-freedom. He reminds us vividly that freedom is much more than the right to vote. By starting with Scottish coalminers who were enslaved to the mine owners if they worked a year and a day in the mines and dramatically communicating the human costs of subservience and the brutalizing aspects of power over others he carries the reader into a variety of experiences far more interesting and thought provoking than the traditional revolutionary era novel. For anyone who would like to think about the nature and value of freedom and the importance of the rule of law, private property and basic human dignity this is an interesting novel that will hold your attention.
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on November 24, 1999
I thoroughly enjoyed Dangerous Forutnue and hoped this book would have the same effect. It doesn't quite reach that level, but still is a captivating story. The picture of lower class life in Eighteenth Century England is a compelling backdrop for a good story. The ending seemed a little too fantastic (reminded me of a Robert Ludlum finish) in that all the loose ends were brought to a successful conclusion for the star crossed lovers. But on the whole, I would recommend this to any who have enjoyed Follett's previous work.
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on September 21, 1998
Good book, but a lot of it seemed lifted from the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman movie "Far and Away," including the journey from Great Britain to America, the boxing scenes, the class differences (the same rich-girl/poor-boy formula as "Titanic" and "Aladdin"), etc. I suppose much of this fits the history of the era, I guess.
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on June 6, 2014
If there is one fault in the writings of Follett it is that the story ends. I am not sure that I am happy with an ending like this one. No real wrap up, you think about it and you figure out where it goes. Perhaps he was looking at a larger epic and then ran out of steam. Engaging story and well written. Of course... it is a Follett.
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on April 30, 2003
This is another good book by Follet. Though not in the league of "the pillars of the earth","night over water"etc....
it still holds you.A story from a bye gone era.. This enthralls you, read it if you are a follet fan.
I dont miss his books at all, as i am a die ... of Follet. Anything he writes i will devour religiously.
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on August 20, 1998
This book seems to be historically accurate as far as the history of England sending criminals over to the colonies. Follett always has a way of communicating what both men and women must be feeling. I am a woman, and I am impressed with how much understanding the author has of a female's perspective. Great story.
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on May 15, 2002
It is a story to relax and read, is not the best of Ken Follet but is not a bad story, with this book you will learn how some people want their freedom at any price and some people just want to be or do what other people say, no matter if it is a man or a woman.
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