my take: I loved this book. Is it too early to say best book of the year? As in, it's going to be my top pick for 2012, not just for 2012 so far. Risky, I know.
This is the book I've been looking for: a rich story from beginning to end, interesting characters, vivid scenery, orderly plot line, politics, history, theology...perfection!
For me, it was a similar experience to reading Cutting for Stone
... epic and engrossing, I couldn't put it down. There are a few "men are scum" moments, but what book doesn't have those?
I worry a bit when i enjoy a book this much ...will others? ... maybe it's just me! Hubby read this as soon as I finished and loved it just as much, so at least there are two. Let me know if you're with us.
my source: Festival of Faith and Writing list 2012
my verdict: excellent! must read