An epic "how to build a Gothic cathedral" with added angst! Quite a thick tomb, but a few daya away with work meant I powered through this. Helps that it is a bit of a page turner too. Not read much Follett, so can't really comment on the fact that this isn't the genre he is known for. Several stories intertwine here, there's Prior Phillp's ambition to overhaul the priory at Kingsbridge, there's Tom Builder's wish to build a cathedral, the struggle of Aliena to regain her brother's earldom and there's the mystery of Jack's father and his hanging. All the tales cross backwards and forwards, such that it's a complex web woven between the main protagonists. There are the baddies, as every good story has, but they all come to pretty bad ends. I have to say that the co-incidence of Prior Phillip being present when William Hamleigh was a rather naughty boy (so as not to spoil it!) was a little bit much to swallow, but that was the only bit I found too much of a leap. This is the second novel where there was one survivor of the White ship, and it does make me wonder if there was one, or if it is just a nice device that two novellists have hit on independantly. They survivors both have very different experiences, so I'm tending to the latter view.