Last night I finished The Weft and The Warp by Cornelius Owen. I loved this book!
It was essentially a set of mini-stories connected by a family tree which made its way through history starting in 1066 and finishing in 1965.
Every story had a clear protagonist who was always engaging and compelling, keeping me engaged through each historical event. My favourites were William Hastings and Eric Stainsby who appeared during The Wars of The Roses, and although Stainsby was fiction the fact that Hastings really did exist and the events portrayed in the story did happen made it even more fascinating.
I also particularly enjoyed the tale set during the time of Oliver Cromwell and the emotional depiction of how a civil war can put family members on opposing sides. Another character I liked was Theophilis Henry Hastings (who couldn't like him with a name like that!) and I was glad that he got his heart's desire in the end (without giving away any spoilers I hope). His brother George was spine-chillingly nasty.
I read the Kindle version on my iPhone which did not include a family tree which was a shame because it would have been really interesting to see that. The family tree is available in the paperback version.
So, I thoroughly recommend this book. It might seem a weighty tome at first glance but each period of history works well on its own so it is very easy to pick up and get into without being overwhelming.