LONDON is a sweeping historical novel (in James Michener tradition) spanning from 54 B.C. to modern times. Weaving well-researched history with characters who come alive generation to generation with ease, he makes this not only a great history but a monumental study of human nature and heredity. Mr. Rutherford has supplied us with a novel and a history lesson in an almost 1,000-page adventure.
Each historical reader will find their own section of history and characters as a favorite. Beginning with the Celts, he introduces characters like Segovax, distinguished by his shock of hair and webbed fingers.
Mr. Rutherford moves swiftly through the centuries to the building of the Tower of London, making you feel as if you are there. He also gave me a visual and satisfying take on my favorite era, 17th-century England at the onset of the English Civil war to the Restoration.
There has been much said about LONDON and though many critics believe that Mr. Rutherford fizzled out toward the end and should have gone deeper into 20th-century history, I felt he ended the novel perfectly. Most books favor the years between WWI and WWII when many young men were lost and England changed for all time. I believe Mr. Rutherford's ending to be a testimony to the English people. (July, 1000 pp., $25.95)