Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer’s novels never fail to keep me turning the pages, sometimes reading almost up to 100 a day. I just recently listed him as one of my favourite authors, and I am looking forward to reading more of his works. After “Shall We Tell The President?”, I laid my hands on Kane and Abel, the first book in the trilogy which consists of The Prodigal Daughter as the other book in the series. Spanning from 1906 to the 1950s, besides a well-constructed plot and superb story-telling, Kane and Abel also gives a glimpse into the major world events which happened during that time; The First and Second World War and The Great Depression.

The two protagonists in this novel, William Kane and Abel Rosnovski are in the two professions which I once wanted to be involved in – the former was in banking while the latter was a successful hotelier. Hence while I was reading the story, I was also enthralled by the world of finance, investments and hotel management. Of the two, I would say that Kane wins my favour as the gentleman and victim of a misunderstanding caused by Rosnovski’s presumptions. I sympathise with Kane, but at the same time I admire Rosnovski’s rags-to-riches tale and his strength in surviving the circumstances which he was in. Kane was the only son of a successful banker and although he appeared to be cold and calculating in the beginning of the book, he turned out to be endearing and a worthwhile character as the book progresses. Born on the same day as Kane, Rosnovski was a Polish immigrant who survived the hardships of the First World War and worked himself up the ranks in the business world through sheer hard work and determination. The cities of Boston and New York sparkled as the background for these two characters as they grew and established themselves as successful personalities in these places.

I finished the book within two weeks, something which I seldom do but I am not surprised considering that it’s a Jeffrey Archer novel. Well, I guess I’ll take a short break after this before indulging myself in another well-written book.


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