Book 1 starts in 1920, and book 4 ends in 1964. And 4 ends with a real cliffhanger. Fortunately, I waited so long to read #4 that #5 is almost in the stores. I don't think I will be waiting another year and a half to read #5!
I had my usual range of emotions while reading Careful, with one significant exception/modification - on Page 199 I actually cried. I don't mean I teared up, my normal reaction. I actually cried. I did everything except sob (thank goodness for that, since I was eating lunch at The Garrett while reading page 199). Do you remember me telling you that when I read Pat Conroy's South of Broad I felt personal loss when a central character died? Well, that almost happened here.
Other than that (when I was obviously coming down with some kind of illness and was more sentimental than usual!), I had raised eyebrows, tears, and exclamations (on page 11, I said out loud, "Whoa! What?"). Did I connect with the characters? Yeah, I would say that I definitely did.
In any series, the author has to keep it fresh. That means, he/she has to add significant characters, while maintaining the stars from earlier books. Archer does that very well here. He adds several great characters, including a fish paste magnate and a banker. And, of course, we still get the Barringtons and the Cliftons. In book 4 he develops the main protagonists even more than he did in 1-3. That's as it should be.
And, finally, just a couple of quick notes:
- There's a scene that takes place in Bath, England. When Lauren had a semester abroad in London (about 11 years ago), Joni and I visited her and took a day trip to bath. That was really fun.
- We've all heard about Simon Weisenthal, who led the Israeli search for Nazi war criminals on the run. Well, he makes a memorable appearance in this story.
- This is the 1st one of the series I've read since I started watching Downton Abbey. I enjoyed comparing the book with the TV series regarding the upper class and their servants - even though the book takes place about 40 years after the latest episode of D.A.