The Pillars of the Earth which I read back in 2011. During Christmas 2012, I started reading it and got through about 700 (of 1,000+) pages. I put it down and didn't pick it up again until this past Christmas 2013 and finally finished it. Phew! It is quite the engrossing saga.
It takes place two centuries after The Pillars of the Earth and is set in the same city of Kingsbridge but it can be read without reading the first book. It's full of everything....love triangles, greed, murder, nuns, animal cruelty (yuck!), and gruesome injuries.
I first heard about these two books from my cousin, Gabe. He told me that they are both long books, but "you don't want them to end." Thanks for the recommendation, Gabe!