I've always enjoyed historical fiction like this - sweeping drama, adventure, heartbreak, courage and triumph. Chris Bohjalian is an excellent writer. Many of the sentences he crafts are poetic, beautiful and insightful. I felt compelled to bookmark several passages for that reason alone.He really takes you inside the characters souls to reveal their inner thoughts and desires so that as a reader, you become part of the book.This isn't really a spoiler, but one of the characters doesn't quite have a "happy ending" so to speak. And, I really really wanted this person to be rewarded with a better life. I was a little miffed that the author didn't do that, but I guess it's a reflection of real life.