Finished. Couldn't put it down, 'cept when i had to. Since this isn't the time or thread to post analysis, I'll just speak in regard to the concerns we had about choosing it...
I thought it was sad, but not a gratuitously maudlin downer like some GR reviewers posted. Like some historical fiction that necessarily has its tragedies and sad endings, it's still well worth reading, IMO.
I'll likely read it again in a few weeks, as I didn't stop to write out my thoughts along the way this time -- and it's a book that provokes a lot of thought and fodder for discussion.
I thought the writing was superb - a tragic story beautifully told, with no drag in the flow.