Just a little review of Sarum, by Edward Rutherfurd, now that I finally finished it.
I really liked it, although the Middle Ages went on far too long. Chapter after chapter where the mere sections were as long and as numerous as entire chapters elsewhere (especially earlier) in the book.
Rutherfurd definitely believes that what is bred in the bone will out. Almost every member of every family looks similar and behaves similarly. By the middle of the book, the merest mention of a short man with a round head and stubby fingers, and you know he is a Mason, good-natured and good with his hands. See a thin, sharp-faced man with a long nose and fingers, and you know he is a Wilson, and at best cunning and at worst never to be trusted. Of course families are alike, and we are probably more like our ancestors than we would like to acknowledge, but families intermarry, and every person with the same last name is not the same. But it is a convenient literary device and saves Rutherfurd a lot of description.
In the length of the book, you gain the sense of how very ancient England is, but you lose a little appreciation of each story. The huge sweep of history becomes a little overwhelming.
Overall, I liked it.
Three and a half stars.