Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Sarum (Edward Rutherford)

A sweeping novel spanning thousands of years


Title: Sarum
Author: Edward Rutherford
Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: 1987
Edition: Kindle e-book

This rich tapestry weaves a compelling saga of five families—the Wilsons, the Masons, the family of Porteus, the Shockleys, and the Godfreys—who reflect the changing character of Britain. As their fates and fortunes intertwine over the course of the centuries, their greater destinies offer a fascinating glimpse into the future.


First Line(s)

First, before the beginning of Sarum, came a time when the world was a colder and darker place.


This was one of the bigger books on my Kindle and it was one I actually found quite intimidating to start. I don’t think I needed to be intimidated after all – it was not so hard to read and it was -in parts- very interesting.

First of all, this book is expansive! It is a multigenerational book, but it starts in prehistory and ends two years before the book was published with the last shirt chapter being set in 1985. It reads like a series of short historical stories, but they are all interconnected by multiple family lines that run throughout and keep encountering each other.

The author clearly has a passion for Salisbury and its history and throughout these stories he shares this history with the reader. It clearly took a lot of research and I think it’s an absolute achievement.

Although this novel is not hard to read I found some parts more interesting than others and I lost interest in a couple of stories along the way. Overall though, I was surprised how engaged I was for the most part. I do think the first half was stronger than the second half, but maybe that it because I am more interested in the earlier parts of history. This could be entirely be my personal preference and could be very different for another reader.

I think this book is a great way to learn about history. It’s not too dry for the most part and the writing is easy enough to follow. I enjoyed it.

If you’re interested in the history of England and more specifically Salisbury, this could be the book for you. I am only disappointed that some of the locations, such as Stonehenge, mentioned in the earlier part of the novel, kind of get forgotten later on. I think he the author missed a trick there. There must have been stuff going on there throughout this time. Pagans and the like? Maybe?

5 out of 7 stars

CAWPILE score: 7.7

  • Characters: 7.5
  • Atmosphere: 7.5
  • Writing Style: 8
  • Plot: 7.5
  • Intrigue: 7.5
  • Logic: 8.5
  • Enjoyment: 7.5

2 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: Sarum (Edward Rutherford)

  1. I can remember reading this and loving it, and the HUGE paperback of it, but it must have been pre-1997 as I can’t find it on my blog or in my reading journal index! Well done for getting through it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s