My husband and I just finished listening to this book on a trip and we both agree it was fabulous. I read The Red Tent also, and I liked this even better. It is written like a series of short stories told in chronological order over 20 or more years and featuring a core cast of characters. At first, it was a little hard to keep all the characters straight..if it had been a book, I would have been turning back to check names, but we soon got to know everyone and really got caught up in their lives. The story takes place in the early 1800's and is interesting both historically and for the personalities and experiences of the characters. Another plus for travelling, it was really long, 9.5 hours, and so we covered a lot of ground while listening. Also, the narrator does an excellent job.
In order for me to enjoy a book, I have to LIKE at least some (if not most) of the characters. That was definitely the case in this book. I got to "know" and care about them and their interwoven stories. It started just a tad slow, but by the end of the first CD, I was hooked! The reader is excellent as well. Very different from Diamant's Red Tent, but equally good.
I liked it. At first I did not think I would but stick with it - it is worth it.