Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor
I had wanted to read Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor for decades, but it was such a long book I never had the time.
I asked for it for Christmas, but didn't get it. My birthday is in February and my sister gave it to me then. It's a trade paperback, 976 pages, kind of heavy, and I've joked that when I am done with it I can use it as a doorstop or kill someone with it.
The book was published in 1944. It takes place in the 1600s and is about a gold-digger in England who wants to become the mistress of King Charles. Amber is an engrossing novel, incredibly well-researched.
What I was not prepared for was the middle of the book, which is about the Black Death/bubonic plague. The book is surprisingly graphic.
I'm surprised not more people have mentioned this book in the past few weeks. I've seen discussions elsewhere of The Stand, an even longer novel, but not Amber. It's not like it's an unknown novel--it was a movie and the book is still in print.
Anyway, if you see lists of novels on the Internet about epidemics, you should add Amber to your list!