So I plodded through for about 350 pages, through wars, executions, and several generations of people who all had the same names. I finally decided enough was enough. And I moved on.
And what I moved on to was a great book. It's about time! And I can highly recommend People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.
It's a bit of a Da Vinci Code hanger-on, in that it involves the examination of a 500 year old document. In this case, it's the richly illuminated Sarajevo Haggadah which has narrowly escaped destruction in the Balkan Wars of the mid-90s. A young Australian book conservator has been summoned to Sarajevo to consult on its analysis and restoration.
And of course there are enigmatic clues to research. The story flashes back to varous pivotal points in the book's history. And along the way, the conservator learns a lot about her own history.
Really enjoyed this one.