I finished reading Eifelheim. Sharon's brother Tom mentioned the book at Erin and Eileen's graduation party last June. I was intrigued because Tom does not read much science fiction. When I realized that it was one of the finalists for the Hugo award, I was hooked and brought the book to add to my pile.
Most of the story is set in Germany in 1348 in a small village in the Black Forest. The story revolves around a Catholic priest, the feudal and manorial systems, the black plague and aliens from another planet that apparently resemble large grasshoppers. There is a smaller contemporary story line involving a historian researching why the village disappeared from the map and a scientist working on a model of the universe.
I struggled getting through the book more than a little in the last month, but in hindsight that is more a reflection of how much was going with the holidays, January birthdays and work than a comment on the book. When I turned to the book in earnest in the last week, I was drawn along by the story. Overall, I would recommend the book; it is an interesting mix of historical fiction and science fiction.