I recently finished Wallace Stegner's 560 page novel The Big Rock Candy Mountain, about the 30 year struggles of the Mason Family as they navigate life Out West in the early 20th century, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Stegner is a masterful storyteller (Pulitzer Prize & National Book Award winner... people... he knows what's he'd doing) and his character development is really extraordinary. His ability to so accurately portray the very different voices of his characters, both male and female, is a gift. Don't be turned off by the length... you can't put it down... and even with all I've been doing this month I was able to finish it (and was sorry to see it end).
If you've read anything by Wallace Stegner I know you'll need no convincing, if not, you should also consider reading Crossing To Safety which is one of my all time favorite books. While Stegner's portrayal and understanding of human psychology and the complexity of our emotional relationships is present in both of these books, the story line, setting, and era are completely different... and both worth reading.
**These are not womens beach books so... men... feel free to dig in yourselves