This novel is about a region in southern England known as New Forest and covers a 900 year span of time. The book is a series of short stories about people living in this part of England with the stories taking place at intervals about 200 years apart. The first story takes place in the year 1100 and the last one in 2000. The stories are connected by many common surnames that keep reappearing, the same geographic location and in some cases an amulet that is handed down from generation to generation.
I found the first short story to be of the most historical interest since it portrayed a version of the mysterious death of King William Rufus in the year 1100. In Rutherfurd's version of events, the king's death takes place nowhere near the Rufus Stone, and Walter Tyrrell is framed for it by the powerful Clare family. This fictional account still leaves much mystery surrounding the incident, and hints that perhaps the younger brother Henry (King Henry I) who succeeded to the throne could have been involved.
None of the other stories were of much interest to me. It reminded me why I don't like reading short stories. Each individual story is OK, but by the time the book is finished the stories become co-mingled in my memory. So in general this book didn't connect with me.