Wow, was this ever a long book. The story covers about a decade of time? Enough that at the end if you think back to how the book began, it's rather unbelievable that it was all one story.
I love books with some historical background. The chapters on the war can be overwhelming - there's so much sadness, but the book is so rich in detail and feeling.. it's worth reading.
There's enough sex that I wouldn't put this on my 14 year olds reading list, but not so much that it ruined the book.
There have been so many books written about the 2nd world war, but this one is based on the view of a jew, in Hungary, and is different than any other perspective I have read. Granted it's fiction, I wouldn't use this as a text book, but it's thought provoking enough to make me want to learn more, which is a sure sign of a great book in my mind.