Author: Jeffrey Archer
Place of publication and publisher: United Kingdom- Hodder and Stoughton
Original publication date: 1982 -1st edition
Pages in original print: 556pp
This book is a sequel to the world wide best seller Kane and Abel. The story is entirely based on Florentyna Rosnovski, the only daughter of the Polish immigrant, Abel Rosnovski. Florentyna reaches the pinnacle of her career by becoming the first female president of the United States of America. Born with a silver spoon, Florentyna always had an inclination towards politics. She named her teddy bear Franklin D. Roosevelt and her first word was “presidunk”.
Florentyna receives all round nurturing and care and excels at everything she try’s, from fashion and education to leadership and politics. As she grows into a fine young lady, she pursues her love life and business ambitions with motivation and passion typical to her character. Then, a sudden reunion with a childhood friend rekindles her childhood dream and directs her towards a career in politics. The story follows Florentyna’s life right from her birth to her achieving her dream by beating all odds.
Florentyna’s story has been narrated by the author. In the process he has taken the readers through 20th century America, its culture, leaders, society and education system. This makes the novel an informative read. Politics and entrepreneurship are two prevalent themes all through this book. The language is polished and metaphorical with the use of some quotes occasionally. The characterization is implicit and in depth.
Florentyna possesses her father’s drive and zeal to succeed in life but not his ambition to earn money. This gives the story a new direction rather than dragging it and putting it through a loop. However, throughout the story Florentyna is the protagonist and the story entirely revolves around her.
The story line is well built and has a smooth flow. These is no excessive cramming of unnecessary data. However the book isn’t as exciting as Kane and Abel, as half way through the book it becomes almost obvious that Florentyna Rosnovski will stand for president. The political tactics written about by Jeffrey Archer shows what a fine writer he is.
What I really enjoyed about the book: The book was gripping and had a lot of knowledge about real world scenarios back in the 20th century. The setting described in the book is imaginable and gives the book an even more realistic approach. The book may come out to be a true source of inspiration for a lot of young girls with big dreams and powerful ambitions who are stopped due to age old beliefs in society and due to the pre-dominating superiority of men over women. The struggle that Florentyna faces to race ahead to the top is beautifully crafted with utmost care and thought. Every situation is described in great detail and the book is more descriptive than dialogue based. The vivid descriptions of scenarios keep the reader going and makes the book a good read. The line that this book takes is very different and unique. It is not cliché and stereotypical, where men are always shown and portrayed to be stronger than women, not just physically but also mentally.
What I did not enjoy in the book: At certain points I felt Archer has dragged the story and prolonged it when there was no need to. Certain events are described in too much detail causing deviation from the main point of the story and this causes the reader to forget the track of the book.
For all those who like reading but do not enjoy politics or business, this book may feel drab and boring.
The language in this book is top notch, hence, people with a good flair for English may thoroughly enjoy this book. This book may also be more appealing to all those who have previously read Kane and Abel as you will be able to correlate the story and see the progress and development. You will also be able to notice the significant difference in the writing technique that Archer has employed in this book compared to Kane and Abel.
On the whole, this book is a masterpiece as some of its flaws are far outweighed by its positives.
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