This book takes place in 14th century England in a town called Wigleigh and chronicles the lives of people in various levels of society such as nuns and monks, earls, serfs, and merchants and their relationships between each other. It takes over 1000 pages to tell their stories. One of the things you learn from this book is that it sucked to be a woman during those times and it sucked big time if you were a poor woman. Our characters face one disaster after another: collapsed bridge and cathedral, plague, rape, famine and all the other things people had to live through at that time. No electricity, steam engines, or printing press to make life easier. The only technological advance was the loom. But through it all, people fell in love, had babies and raised them, and made do the best they could. Giving up was not an option for these folks.
This is indeed a hefty book but it reads fast. Conversations and descriptions aren't very deep and you get caught up in the battle of good and evil and you are carried along in the currents that carry our characters through their lives.
I read this book in my car while my daughter was in meetings. It definitely helps having a place to read with little distraction.
I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy historical fiction and aren't intimidated by large books.
My rating for this book: +++++