Sunset Song is elegaic, describing a way of farming life soon to disappear with the outbreak of the first world war. The characters are vivid and real, no whimsy here - life is hard, but hopeful and sometimes happy and the people are tough and worthy of respect. Chris is the main character and she and Long Rob were my favourites, but its an ensemble piece. Thomas Hardy's "In Time of the Breaking of Nations" kept coming to mind because of the contrast between great events and perpetual cycles, although the continuity that Hardy predicts turns out not to be true.
Cloud Howe and Grey Granite continue to follow Chris' life and that of her son Ewan and I found them equally as good. I don't want to give further details of what happens for fear of spoiling the story, but I felt compelled to find out what happened to the characters and read straight on from Sunset Song. Gibbons is a wonderful writer, both in his characterisation and descriptions. I felt as a 1960s Southerner that the author had conveyed to me a real feeling of what it was like to live in the (fictional) Mearns in the early 20th century.
This trilogy is not an "easy" read, but amply repays any initial effort of becoming familiar with the dialect words (there aren't that many and it impressed my Scottish friends that I knew them:-)
I love these books and highly recommend them.