I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes a book about everyday people, that you can really get your teeth into. The characters are brilliantly described and the most central member of the Freeman family, James, is a genuinely inspiring person. It is sad what happens to him and I kept on willing him to live happily ever after with the woman of his dreams, but, as in real life, sometimes things just aren't meant to be.
I don't think the book is too long or a slog in places, as described by others. The book is a reflection of life in that sometimes not very much happens, and at other times your whole world can be turned upside down. All of the characters in this book become friends and you end up caring for all of them.
This book made me laugh, smile, almost cry, and made me fearful of turning the page when things turn sour for James and Laura. This book was also responsible for me spending many a day at work struggling to stay awake and concentrate after I had stayed up until the early hours of the morning unable to put it down. Read it!