This is the first time, for me, that the hype has paid off.
The book (maybe the story, but maybe not) drags. It is not long winded, but it is also not something that one can pick up and read quickly or for a short amount of time. As a speedy reader, I found this to be frustrating, but the frustration paid off in the end.
I was not in love with this book until the very last chapter. Those eighteen pages definitely mark this book as a top contender for the best of what I will read this year.
I found the love stories to be interesting than the history, and they may have played a bigger part in the story for me if for no other reason that they are definitely real and for the way the continue to tie the stories together.