The perfectionist in me thinks I should get to dealing with email and responding in LJ, but the me in me says, "Eh. Do what you want." So I am.
I should be able to name ten books that fit this description in a heartbeat. But I can't. I can't call even one to mind, though Heidi comes somewhat close. I'm looking more for novels written for an adult audience than young adult, but either will do. Here are my criteria, such that they are:
1. Something you recall as having been good from a storytelling point of view. If it had a writing style you weren't crazy about, or if you thought it needed a serious edit, that's okay. Rec it anyway.
2. Something that begins with the main character as a young child, let's say somewhere between 2 and 6 yrs old.
3. The character is taken through various points in life up to adulthood, but not to death. Let's say it can end anywhere from about 20 yrs old on up to maybe 65ish.
4. This is a bonus: not a single cataclysmic event, but more a series of critical experiences that lead up to some kind of change or decision in the main character's life.
If you can think of novels, or I suppose even short stories, that meet that description, I'll be eternally grateful. I'm especially interested in looking at how authors of these kinds of tales manage the transitions between large chunks of time.