I am very late reading this book. I had heard all sorts of great things about it and finally got around to picking it up this past January. Since then it has sat, patiently, in the long list of books to read. Finally, this weekend, I sat down and read it on Sunday. It took the majortiy of the day – between swims, kayaking and spending time with the family up at the cottage – but I did it! I read all 503 pages in one go. How was it?
The Good: It was, overall, splendid. It was a great read that I definitely recommend. The tension builds slowly but steadily. The prose flow with elegance and confidence. The characters are sound and three dimensional. It is a solidly written book, with a great story that will stay with the readers after they turn the last page.
The Bad: With a book this well-written the few “bad” things are minor, and usually has a lot to do with preference. There was at least one scene near the end that seemed gratuitous – an oddity for the novel that seems so streamlined in every other regard. Perhaps it is because of its focus that the scene sticks out as not needed. I felt slightly frustrated that the climax of the book, a moment the reader has been waiting for, is so short. I was satisfied with the how, when and why – but the duration caused me some frustration but did not detract from the story as a whole.
Outcome: Read it! If you love history and character studies than this is the book for you!