Is it cliché? Yes, but what story isn’t? Whether a book is about romance, friendship, war or peace, its all been done before. It’s all in how you mix the details. As a writer myself, I’ve always been told you’ve got to keep piling the troubles on to keep the reader interested. And, while that is true to keep a story going, I think you have to have triumphs mixed in there too. Get the characters some rewards along the way, but with the whisper of troubles ahead. Ms Hannah does this skillfully. I think that is why some people found this such a great story. Lives have ups and downs, that’s how the tale of them should go.
I didn’t expect the climactic last four chapters or so. Something I myself have lived through. While painful to recall, they were very accurate and sad.
It’s a thick book, but when you’re covering 30 years what do you expect? While I don’t have a small fraction of Ms Hannah’s fans, I can clearly see why they love her writing. This turned out to be a great read and I give it my highest recommendation.