This book was a present from my fiancé back in 1993. It took me days to finish reading it then as I savoured every morsel of the novel. I read it again recently for the Reading Challenge.
This story revolves around the protagonists, Charlie Trumper, Becky, Daniel and Daniel's fiancée while the antagonists are Guy and his mom, Mrs Trentham.
As the Crow Flies starts out as a rags to riches novel. We see Charlie start with a mere wheelbarrow and end up with one of the most successful businesses in all of England.
On top of that, this story portrays a side plot involving good versus evil. The Trenthams are real bad, and the saintly Trumpers are not afraid to put up a fight for what is right. Jeffrey Archer offers a fair dose of suspense here, as Daniel, Daniel's fiancé, and Charlie all try to uncover the dark secret that Mrs. Trentham is keeping. If the truth prevails, Charlie can destroy the evil Trentham fortune once and for all and save Trumpers from falling into the wrong hands.
This novel was on the New York Times bestseller list for 4 months when it was released in the early 1990's, and it justly so. This is an interesting book that spans many generations of a single family. Through their eyes we see a changing English society.
This book is a good read, despite its weight which is about 13.9 ounces (paperback) with 800 pages. And it has an interesting format, too. The story line is broken down into years, and the sections are told from the perspective of the different characters. For example, Charlie tells the story as it is from 1900-1919. Becky elaborates on Charlie's story from 1918 through 1920. This format continues through 13 sections with the final words described by Becky from 1964-1970. It is an interesting way to narrate a story. Mr. Archer succeeds in narrating the saga so that the characters see the same events differently.
As the Crow Flies is suitable for those who like a rags to riches story. The English humor and slang can be a bit eccentric, but it just adds to the charm of this bestseller by Jeffrey Archer.