I loved the way Joe revealed the details of the characters intertwined lives like un-peeling the layers from an onion. It was a very captivating story if not a trifle odd. The ending was strange but sweet.
This was my third story of the author’s and my favorite one so far. I am looking forward to reading his collection of short stories 20th Century Ghosts. I am adding him to my short list of favorite contemporary authors. :-)
A good story that kept my attention all the way through to the end.
While I didn’t like or even identify with all the characters, I did feel like I was sufficiently familiar with the main players to keep up with them. There were a handful of minor characters that I would get fuzzy on at times, but overall I would say they were done well enough for me to follow.
I would recommend this to anyone who liked The Pillars of the Earth and want to relive that with a slightly different cast of characters. Honestly though, the characters feel like they are rehashed from the Pillars, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As I said they are pretty well fleshed out even if sometimes a bit predicable.
The main plot lines are resolved in the end. I did feel bad about what happened to Ralph for some reason. I can’t explain why since he certainly got what he deserved. I think I would have been less bothered if Philemon had suffered a similar end.