I had left off reading any other Amazon reviews before finshing the book, so was unaware what an impact it had made on other readers (over 750 on the US Amazon!) The author honestly admits that he had trouble with his ambitious creation, but clearly believed in the need to tell us this story. Perhaps his problems may have left some narrative wrenches, and a few improbable twists (and what novel does not have those?) But on completion I found that I had been let into thoughtful and wistful insights into nature, war, love and death. This was odyssey, not primarily an historical tale. Yet the period and events it was set in were fundamental to the workings of the plot. And it was the perfect reading companion to my journey around Tennessee this year. Thank you, Charles Frazier for perservering with your book, which was unsentimental, crafted to work on a number of levels, and which succeeded in leaving this English reader with a sense of loss in your own past. I might have applied the same compliments to the works of Thomas Hardy!