The Pillars of the Earth is by Ken Follett. A sweeping epic of life in the Middle Ages. The book follows the stories of a host of individuals and their lives over a period of years. Tom Builder is a master builder who has always wanted to build a cathedral, but someone must hire him. Prior Phillip has been elected prior of a declining monastery and involved in church politics he never anticipated. Then there are the plotting Hamleigh's and the beautiful Aliena whose father the Hamleigh's arrest for treason against the king. This novel gives you an in depth look at life in 12th century England, which was brutal at best. The characters feel real and are well done. You love them and hate them, but their human strengths and weaknesses paint a vivid picture of all human beings. While the violence of the time period is disturbing it is factual, Follett does tend to add more sexuality than is absolutely necessary.
Ratings: Adult - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content) - V (violence) - S (sexual content).