Corelli's Mandolin started off very slow, and very long. I just couldn't get into the portrait of life in Cephallonia - it was all very nice, but just didn't do it for me. I feared a long slog through the 430 pages. Thankfully, the character of Corelli showed up and saved the book. I read the portions dealing with the love story between him and Pelagia with interest, and read the sections dealing with the horrors of the war with somewhat less interest.
Here's the thing about war books - we know that war is terrible. And I acknowledge the effort on the part of the author to make us understand what it was like for the Greek people to go through what they went through at the hands of the oppressors. It doesn't make it less sad, or easier to read about. I am not suggesting that writers should not write about it - I just personally don't like to read about it.
Mike says that this book was made into one of the worst movies! It did get a 29% on the Tomatometer. I did not know that Penelope Cruz was in the role of Pelagia. I think I'll skip the movie on this one. (Not a shock, I know - I don't watch movies)!